DC mayor asks DHS for increased security measures surrounding inauguration
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Sunday called on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take additional steps to secure the nation’s capital ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
In a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, Bowser called for several specific steps to be taken, including an extension of the special security period surrounding the inauguration, the declaration of a pre-disaster zone, and increased coordination between federal law enforcement agencies to secure federal buildings with the hopes of allowing D.C. police to respond to the city’s other needs.
The statement called Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol an “unprecedented terrorist attack” and called the measures outlined in her letter “essential to demonstrating our collective resolve in ensuring the Constitutional transition of power and our nation’s capital in the day’s leading up to it.”
I strongly urge the United States Department of Homeland Security to adjust its approach to the Inauguration in several specific ways, and have outlined them in the following letter to Acting Secretary Wolf. pic.twitter.com/GaxUWfFbxk
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 10, 2021
Bowser asked Wolf to expend the already-declared special security period from its current duration of Jan. 19 to Jan. 21, to Jan. 11 to Jan. 24. She also asked the Justice Department to direct the FBI to provide daily security briefings from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24 and the Department of the Interior to cancel any public gathering permits approved for that period to be canceled and to not issue any new permits.
DHS officials did not immediately return a request for comment on Bowser’s statement from The Hill.
In an interview Sunday afternoon on MSNBC, Bowser also pointed to reported delays in the federal and multi-state response to the Capitol riot, including the delay in the Pentagon authorizing the deployment of the D.C. National Guard, as a reason why the District of Columbia should be made the nation’s 51st state.
Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan (R), confirmed those delays occurred during an interview Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, but said that he couldn’t answer why it took so long for Maryland National Guardsmen and law enforcement agencies to be given authority to enter the District to aid Congress.
“So, our Guard mobilized and was ready. But we couldn’t actually cross over the border into D.C. without the OK. And that was quite some time. We kept running it up the flagpole, our generals talking to the National Guard generals. And eventually, I got a call from Ryan McCarthy, the secretary of the Army, asking if we could come into the city. But we had already been mobilizing,” Hogan said Sunday.
Five people, including one Capitol Police officer died as a result of Wednesday’s riots, which have since been roundly condemned by lawmakers in both parties. Numerous members of Congress including several Republican senators have called for the president to immediately resign or face removal via impeachment or the 25th amendment in response to the mob’s incitement by Trump moments before at a D.C. rally as well as his later praise for them in a video message.
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