The request of the Capitol police to extend for two months the guard mission of its building complex by members of the National Guard after the January 6 attack is being examined by the American Pentagon.
“We have received a formal request from Capitol police to continue the National Guard's assistance to the US Capitol building,” Pentagon spokesman John Kerby told a news conference. in the coming months “.
He did not specify whether the request was due to a specific risk. Last month, Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman spoke out against threats from extremist groups that they would prevent new Democratic President Joe Biden from addressing the union before the plenary session of Congress.
The date of the president's annual address to the members of both houses of Congress – the head of state is required to deliver it each year under the Constitution and usually presents his priorities to parliamentarians and citizens – has not yet been announced. .
Very strict security measures
Strong security measures have been in place at the Capitol since Jan. 6, when thousands of Donald Trump supporters rallied after a speech by the then-Republican president, who urged them to go and block the ratification of Joe's victory.
Several hundred people stormed the building and chaos ensued. Five people, including a member of the Capitol police, were killed. More than 300 people are currently facing prosecution for criminal offenses of varying severity due to their involvement in the incidents.
Since then, barriers have been set up to protect the area around the Capitol building, while 5,000 National Guard soldiers remain mobilized to support police if needed. Their mission will typically end on March 12th.
Asked about the seriousness of the threat to the Capitol, as rumors of an attack on Thursday did not follow through, the spokesman stressed that “things have changed since January 6.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “believes that our elected representatives deserve a safe working environment,” he added, noting that the Pentagon would decide soon.