The Pentagon on Monday reportedly approved the deployment of D.C. National Guard forces to the nation’s capital this week for pro-Trump protests centered around the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller approved a request from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday, CNN reported, citing an unnamed defense official. The Associated Press first reported earlier Monday on Bowser’s request for security help from Tuesday through Thursday.
The mayor’s office told CNN that roughly one hundred guardsmen will be deployed at any given time.
“No DCNG personnel shall be armed during this mission, and at no time, will DCNG personnel or assets be engaged in domestic surveillance, searches, or seizures of US persons,” Bowser wrote in her request letter, CNN reported.
Two gatherings in D.C. to protest Trump’s loss — one in November and another in December — were ultimately marked by violence and property damage, including several stabbings and the burning of Black Lives Matter banners that had been ripped from historically Black churches.
Wednesday’s protests — there are several planned at various points across the city — are again expected to draw fringe and violent groups.
One leader of the Proud Boys, the right-wing street gang, said last week that the group would attend the festivities “incognito.” And one man who was arrested on a firearms felony charge in Philadelphia late last year was advertised as a speaker for the independent group Latinos for Trump.
The Proud Boys Leader, Enrique Tarrio, was reportedly arrested Monday on suspicion of one of the banner burnings, for which he had claimed credit online.
Though several Republican legislators have said they will object to Biden’s certification as the next President Wednesday, they don’t have the support necessary to prevent Trump’s impending exit.