Donald Trump approved a declaration of emergency for Washington DC and directed federal aid to the nation’s capital ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday called for a federal declaration of emergency following a deadly insurgency attempt on Capitol Hill on January 6, instigated by the president and led by his supporters in a bid to overturn the election results of 2020. Federal law enforcement has warned that further attacks on state houses in the United States and the capital could follow.
The Department of Homeland Security also ordered the U.S. Secret Service to begin national special security operations on January 13, increasing the original January 16 schedule by three days.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, who resigned Monday, said he had moved operations “in light of the events of the past week and the changing landscape of national security leading up to the inauguration And under the direction of the director of the secret service James Murray.
The federal declaration of emergency remains in effect until January 24.
At a press conference Monday, Mayor Bowser urged Americans to avoid traveling to Washington for the inauguration, adding that “if I’m afraid of anything, it’s for our democracy, because we have very extreme factions in our country that are armed and dangerous. ”
“Our goals right now are to encourage Americans to participate virtually and to protect the District of Columbia from a repeat of the violent insurgency experienced on Capitol Hill and its grounds,” she said.
In her letter seeking the President’s approval, she said: “Based on recent events and intelligence assessments, we must prepare for the arrival of large groups of trained and armed extremists in Washington DC.”
The FBI issued a note to law enforcement partners warning far-right extremists to plan “armed protests” in all 50 states and the capital following a deadly riot in the halls of Congress. last week which resulted in the deaths of at least four people, including a Capitol Hill police officer. Dozens of people have been charged.
“This identified group also plans to ‘storm’ government offices, including in the District of Columbia and all states, regardless of whether states have certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump, on Jan.20,” said a newsletter obtained by CNN.
The FBI is also following reports of “various threats to harm” the President-elect, as well as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the report.