WASHINGTON – District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser is looking to tighten security around the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden following the mob insurgency on Capitol Hill.
“We strongly believe that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injuries and death suffered on the United States Capitol during the insurgency,” Bowser wrote in a commentary. letter to Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.
She requested a “pre-disaster declaration” for the district to allow federal assistance.
Bowser cited “new threats of insurgent acts from national terrorists” and called for the security period around the inauguration to be extended from Monday to January 24 and for the Capitol to be included in the perimeter. She insists that any protest request be rejected during this period.
The letter was dated Saturday and published Sunday.
After hearing President Donald Trump repeat his baseless claims that the election was stolen from him, rioters broke into the Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers voted to certify Biden’s victory. Five died, including a Capitol police officer. Trump has not taken responsibility for his actions and the House is considering possible impeachment.
DC does not have jurisdiction over the Capitol and other federal properties within its borders.
In his letter to Wolf, Bowser called for coordination with the departments of Defense and Justice, Congress and the Supreme Court to develop a security plan for all federal property. “In accordance with established protocols and practices, it is the primary responsibility of the federal government to secure federal property in these situations,” she wrote.
Doing so, she said, will allow the Metropolitan Police Department “to focus on its local mission.”
During Wednesday’s riots, insurgents carrying Trump’s bogus election message pushed Capitol police into Capitol Hill. Members of Congress demanded an investigation and the Capitol Police Chief and House and Senate sergeants-at-arms were ousted.
There was no widespread election fraud, a fact that has been confirmed by state officials across the country, as well as Attorney General William Barr. Almost all of the legal challenges raised by Trump and his allies were dismissed by the judges. The Supreme Court, which includes three judges appointed by Trump, has also rejected requests to hear two cases aimed at overturning the election result in the main battlefield states.