Capitol Police ask Pentagon for help ahead of Sept. 18 rally

Capitol Police ask Pentagon for help ahead of Sept. 18 rally
© Greg Nash

Capitol Police has asked the Pentagon to provide military personnel ahead of Saturday’s pro-Trump Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., the Defense Department confirmed Wednesday.

Pentagon press secretary John KirbyJohn KirbyPentagon offers to pay families of those killed in Afghan drone strike China, US military officials held talks to discuss relations Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE said the department has “received a request from the Capitol Police for some assistance for this weekend’s scheduled protest.”

He would not say more on the specific request, noting that it is typical Defense Department policy to let the agency asking for assistance be the ones to speak on the details.

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Kirby added that Pentagon officials are currently analyzing the request and “if it can be validated and supported, we’ll do that.”

Security officials and congressional leaders are making sure they will not be blindsided by Saturday’s rally which is intended to show support for those who have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot.

After officials appeared to be caught flat-footed on Jan. 6, when a violent mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE's supporters overwhelmed police officers and stormed the Capitol in a failed attempt to overturn President Biden’s election victory, there has been a scramble to ensure the same events don’t happen again.

Capitol Police have installed temporary high-tech security cameras to allow them a wider view of the Capitol complex, and the Capitol Police Board on Monday approved a plan to reinstall a 7-foot fence around the main Capitol building.

The board also issued an emergency declaration to allow Capitol Police to deputize outside law enforcement as “special” Capitol Police officers Saturday.

Asked how many personnel the Capitol Police requested and what roles they would take on, Kirby would only say that “it is not an exorbitant ask.”

“It’s not of a particularly large size or major capability,” he said. “I think it’s really more in the form of some manpower support.”

The National Guard previously had a hand in securing the Capitol on and after Jan. 6, with dozens of National Guard troops on hand that day to help secure the Capitol complex and drive rioters back toward the National Mall.

In the days, weeks and months after the attack, thousands of service members from around the country patrolled the Capitol grounds.