Members of the National Guard slept overnight at the Capitol building Tuesday night, photos showed.
Photos showed the troops sleeping on the marble floors of the Capitol with their guns by their side. National Guardsmen were deployed to Washington, D.C. to protect the Capitol after last Wednesday’s riot left five people dead.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are set to vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump Wednesday. The president was accused by some lawmakers of inciting the violent riot that took place at the Capitol Jan. 6.
A mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building during the riot in protest of the certification of the Electoral College votes, which was taking place that day. Lawmakers were forced to evacuate after the Capitol building was breached and rioters were able to make their way inside. (RELATED: FBI Memo Reportedly Warned Of Possible Violence Ahead Of Capitol Riot, Despite Officials’ Claims That There Was No Indication)
Up to 15,000 National Guard troops are set to deploy to Washington, D.C. ahead of the inauguration, the New York Times (NYT) reported. Defense Department officials said that the troops around the Capitol will be armed, NYT first reported.
Before the riot took place, Democratic Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser requested that the troops who were being deployed be unarmed in an attempt to limit the military’s role in responding to protests, Politico reported. But officials decided to arm the troops after law enforcement reportedly received credible threats that armed militias were planning to come to the Capitol.
“We want our individuals to have the right to self-defense,” National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson said Monday according to Politico. “If senior leadership determines that that’s the right posture to be in, then that is something we will do.”