Exhausted National Guardsmen sleep on Capitol floor – 20,000 to guard Biden inauguration

Washington: Trump supporters clash with police in Capitol Building

The reinforcements will take the total number of guardsmen stations in the US Capitol to more than 20,000, according to city officials. Photos of the guardsmen at the building show them asleep on the floor after Trump supporters stormed Washington last week.

Robert J Contee III, DC Police Chief, told a news conference the reinforcements could arrive by Wednesday.

He said: “I think you can except to see somewhere upwards beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of the District of Columbia.”

National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson also told the New York Times the troops “are authorised to do law enforcement if that’s requested from the supporting agency.

Reports hold the 20,000 guardsmen would be four times as many US soldiers as are stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

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A defence official, speaking anonymously, added Pentagon officials are still planning additional security measures for Mr Biden’s inauguration.

They said discussions with city and federal officials over the final number of National Guardsmen to be sent to Washington have yet to be decided, as officials plan for what is needed.

The defence source then said to MSN news at least 10,000 guardsmen will be stationed in the Capitol building for the inauguration, with some armed.

Other measures already taken to prevent mob violence include a 7 foot black chain fence erected around the centre of Capitol Hill.

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take office on January 20, in six days time.

An internal FBI bulletin has warned of nationwide armed protests over the Democrats inauguration next week.

It said: “Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January.”

The federal bureau has also warned of “threats to harm” both Mr Biden and Ms Harris ahead of the pair taking office.

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It comes as outgoing President Donald Trump has condemned his supporters for last weeks riots at the Capitol building.

Five people died following the insurrection at the Washington building, including one police officer.

In a video released from the White House, Mr Trump said: “Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nations most sacred traditions and values.

“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence, no true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.

“No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it. And you are attacking our country.”

It also comes as Democrats have impeached Mr Trump for the second time following last weeks riot.

Congress voted 232 to 197 on the article of impeachment, which saw Mr Trump charged with “incitement of an insurrection”.

The vote now goes to the Senate, who will decide whether to convict the President on the charge.

The outgoing President, speaking at a section of the Mexico/US border wall yesterday, warned Democrats and Republicans against proceeding with impeachment.

He said: “As the expression goes, ‘be careful what you wish for’.”

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