Capitol Police have officially requested that the National Guard remain at the U.S. Capitol for another 2 months in light of new intelligence of possible threats.
ABC News reported on a proposal to maintain National Guard presence at the Capitol has been sent by U.S. Capitol Police to the Pentagon to be reviewed by the Department of Defense.
The proposal asks for as many as 2,200 National Guard troops to remain in D.C. with possible reduction of the number “incrementally and rationally” based on the threat level. According to the plan, Capitol Police will try to divide National Guard members into battalion sizes of 900, while implementing their own technology to support the troops.
The plan was developed as a result of the riots at the capitol that left five people dead, as well as recent intelligence reports about a potential plot by QAnon supporters to storm the Capitol on March 4, as part of a theory that Donald Trump would regain the presidency on the original inauguration day. Although no disturbances took place that day, law enforcement and troops at the Capitol remain on high alert.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin learned of the request just 36 hours before it was sent out. The National Guard is now looking for volunteers around the country to join the effort.
Currently, there are over 4,000 troops guarding the Capitol Building, in addition to razor-wire fences that will surround it for the next several months.
The plan is getting mixed signals from congressional leaders, with many seeing the current security measures as an overreaction. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said, “It’s outrageous. That’s not their mission. We have the Capitol Police, that is their mission.”
Democratic majority whip Sen. Dick Durbin added to that sentiment, saying, “What we have now, that’s just unacceptable to me. It’s just ghastly, it’s an embarrassment. If there’s a better way to protect us, I want to see it. I want to work to get it.”
In addition, Slotkin described the need for a clear security plan from local law enforcement.
“We want to understand what the plan is,” she said. “None of us like looking at the fencing, the gates, the uniformed presence around the Capitol. We can’t depend on the National Guard for our security.”
She continued to describe the atmosphere of fear at the Capitol, saying that lawmakers “don’t feel totally secure” and are rushing through their voting process to avoid lingering in the building.