Politico is reporting the deployment for the entire D.C. National Guard has been extended until March 31.
With the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump scheduled to begin soon, officials worry about possible civil disturbances in the nation’s capital over the next several weeks.
The memo, signed by D.C. National Guard chief Maj. Gen. William Walker and dated Jan. 25, orders troops to remain on duty at least through the end of March “in continued support of District and Federal civil authorities during anticipated First Amendment demonstrations and Civil Disturbance in the District of Columbia.”
The new orders suggest that law enforcement agencies in the nation’s capital are preparing for potential unrest in the coming days and weeks, as former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial kicks off and his supporters issue threats to lawmakers.
In addition to the D.C. Guard, troops from Maryland have been ordered to remain on duty through at least March 15. The National Guard Bureau initially said the orders will become voluntary after 31 days, but Guard sources said Tuesday that was not the case.
Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic is wrecking havoc with the D.C. National Guard troops as hundreds have tested positive for the virus or are currently quarantining due to exposure.
Many of the troops, who have had to sleep on the floor of the Capitol building or an underground parking lot, say the deployment is becoming its own super-spreader event.
Scoop: The DC National Guard is having its deployment extended until March 31 in anticipation of “civil disturbance” throughout the nation’s capital, according to a memo we obtained. Comes as Guard units are seeing Covid positivity rates of 10-15%. https://t.co/SezAbQtJeS
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 26, 2021
Our troops deserve the utmost honor & respect for securing the Capitol & defending democracy this week.
This is unconscionable & unsafe. Whoever’s decision this was to house our National Guardsmen & women in underground parking lots must be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/mBwpoog6YC
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) January 22, 2021