5,000 National Guard troops to stay in DC through mid-March
Roughly 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in Washington, D.C., until mid-March, the expected end date of former President Trump’s impeachment trial, Pentagon officials revealed Monday.
About 7,000 Guardsmen from the D.C. National Guard and various states will stay for the next few days to provide support to local and federal law enforcement, drawing down to roughly 5,000 by the start of February, acting Army Secretary John Whitley told reporters.
Those 5,000 will then stay on until around the completion of the former president’s Senate trial, set to begin Feb. 8.
Whitley said the Pentagon received four requests for the Guard to remain and provide assistance to the U.S. Park Police, U.S. Secret Service, Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) amid fears of threats to officials and the city in the wake of the deadly Capitol riots on Jan 6.
“They’re concerned that there could be situations where there are lawful protests — First Amendment protected protests — that could either be used by malicious actors or other problems that could emerge,” Whitley said, but deferred to the FBI as to the specifics of such threats.
“We are briefed on a very regular basis about those and we are posturing our forces to be able to respond to those threats if they emerge,” he said.
About 25,000 troops were in the city last week for the ultimately incident-free inauguration of President Biden. That number has since shrunk to 13,000, expected to go down to 7,000 by the end of the week.
Through the first week of February, roughly 500 Guardsmen will support U.S. Park Police and 550 will aid the MPD. Through mid-March, 600 troops will assist the Secret Service and 5,000 will bolster the Capitol Police.
The service members will help provide security, communication, medical evacuation, logistical, and safety support to the agencies.