USA TODAY US Edition

‘Ev­ery­one is on high alert’ for next week’s in­au­gu­ra­tion

- John Ba­con U.S. News · Politics · California · Gavin Newsom · New Jersey · Philip D. Murphy · Washington State · Jay Inslee · Jay · Air National Guard · United States of America · FBI · Joe Biden · Michigan · Gretchen Whitmer · Washington · Donald Trump · White House · Pentagon · Department of Homeland Security · Homeland · New York · Albany · Pennsylvania · Dover City · Delaware · Congress of the United States · Lansing · National Guard Bureau · Harrisburg · John C. Carney, Jr. · Starkey, NY · Defamation League · Tony Allen

In Cal­i­for­nia, Gov. Gavin New­som said, “Ev­ery­one is on high alert.” In New Jer­sey, Gov. Phil Mur­phy said, “We do not want to un­der­pre­pare.” In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee warned that his state “can­not tol­er­ate any ac­tions that could re­sult in harm.”

At least 10,000 Na­tional Guard troops are sched­uled to pro­vide sup­ple­men­tal se­cu­rity in com­ing days at the U.S. Capi­tol, scene of last week’s deadly riot. Sim­i­lar steps are be­ing taken in cap­i­tals across the na­tion amid FBI re­ports of pos­si­ble armed protests start­ing Sun­day through the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Bi­den on Jan. 20.

In Michi­gan, where six men were in­dicted last month on charges of con­spir

ing to kid­nap Gov. Gretchen Whit­mer, a state com­mis­sion banned the open car­ry­ing of weapons in the Capi­tol in Lansing. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Dana Nes

sel warned peo­ple away.

“My job is not to pro­vide state em­ploy­ees & res­i­dents or other vis­i­tors to our Capi­tol with a false sense of se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially given the cur­rent state of af­fairs in Michi­gan and around the na­tion,” Nes­sel tweeted Tues­day. “I re­peat – the Michi­gan Capi­tol is not safe.”

Washington, D.C., re­mains the cen­ter for the protests.

Driven by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­bunked claims that the elec­tion was stolen, a mob marched from the White House to the Capi­tol, where they oc­cu­pied the build­ing for hours Jan. 6 to try to stop law­mak­ers from con­firm­ing Bi­den’s elec­tion win. Five peo­ple died, in­clud­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Au­thor­i­ties said they are ready for the in­au­gu­ra­tion, which is des­ig­nated as a “na­tional spe­cial se­cu­rity event,” al­low­ing close co­or­di­na­tion among the Capi­tol Po­lice, Pen­tagon, Home­land Se­cu­rity and Washington-area po­lice.

Act­ing Capi­tol Po­lice Chief Yo­gananda Pittman promised a “com­pre­hen­sive, co­or­di­nated” plan to keep the Capi­tol safe. Army Gen. Daniel Hokan­son, chief of the Na­tional Guard Bu­reau, said 10,000 Na­tional Guard troops would be in Washington, and an ad­di­tional 5,000 troops will be ready if needed.

“We will have the ad­e­quate re­sourc­ing, per­son­nel and plans in place,” said Michael Plati, a U.S. Se­cret Ser­vice spe­cial agent in charge of in­au­gu­ra­tion se­cu­rity.

At the New York Capi­tol in Al­bany, con­crete bar­ri­ers block the street that en­cir­cles the 7-acre state­house. In Penn­syl­va­nia, the state Capi­tol Po­lice force in Har­ris­burg was “en­hanc­ing its vis­i­ble pres­ence” – even though the Capi­tol is closed to vis­i­tors be­cause of COVID-19 re­stric­tions.

Dover, the cap­i­tal of Delaware, Bi­den’s home state, is less than 100 miles from Washington.

“We’re aware of the protests planned in Dover,” said Gov. John Car­ney’s spokesman, Jonathan Starkey. “Law en­force­ment will mon­i­tor con­di­tions on the ground. I don’t have any com­ment about ad­di­tional Guard de­ploy­ments.”

In New Jer­sey, Jared Maples, direc­tor of the state Of­fice of Home­land Se­cu­rity and Pre­pared­ness, said his agency has not iden­ti­fied spe­cific threats, just “a lot of fly­ers” and “chat­ter on­line” about protests.

“We’re vet­ting through ev­ery sin­gle lead that we get,” he said. “We’re mak­ing sure that we fol­low all those down.”

The FBI said it sup­ports lo­cal, state and fed­eral law en­force­ment while re­spect­ing the peace­ful ex­er­cise of First Amend­ment rights.

“Our ef­forts are fo­cused on iden­ti­fy­ing, in­ves­ti­gat­ing and dis­rupt­ing in­di­vid­u­als that are in­cit­ing vi­o­lence and en­gag­ing in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity,” the agency said in a state­ment. “Our fo­cus is not on peace­ful pro­test­ers, but on those threat­en­ing their safety and the safety of other cit­i­zens with vi­o­lence and de­struc­tion of prop­erty.”

Sixty-five per­cent of Amer­i­cans want the gov­ern­ment to do more to ad­dress the rise of far-right ex­trem­ism, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­leased Tues­day from the Anti-Defama­tion League.

“Vi­o­lent do­mes­tic ex­trem­ism is a global threat that will out­last Pres­i­dent Trump’s time in of­fice,” ADL CEO Jonathan Green­blatt said. “The in­com­ing Congress and Bi­den-Har­ris ad­min­is­tra­tion must work to­gether proac­tively, de­lib­er­ately and swiftly (to) dis­man­tle this do­mes­tic ter­ror threat.”

The in­au­gu­ra­tion theme will be “Amer­ica United,” an is­sue that’s taken on added weight.

“This in­au­gu­ra­tion marks a new chap­ter for the Amer­i­can peo­ple – one of heal­ing, of uni­fy­ing, of com­ing to­gether, of an Amer­ica united,” said Tony Allen, CEO of the Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ral Com­mit­tee. “The in­au­gu­ral ac­tiv­i­ties will re­flect our shared val­ues and serve as a re­minder that we are stronger to­gether than we are apart, just as our motto ‘e pluribus unum’ re­minds us – out of many, one.”

 ?? BOB BROWN/AP ?? Fenc­ing blocks the front en­trance to the Vir­ginia Capi­tol in Rich­mond on Mon­day.
BOB BROWN/AP Fenc­ing blocks the front en­trance to the Vir­ginia Capi­tol in Rich­mond on Mon­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA