President-elect Joe Biden on Monday declared he was unafraid to take the oath of office outside as the National Guard announced it would deploy 10,000 troops to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration in the wake of the Capitol siege.
“I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” Biden told reporters in Delaware after receiving his second jab of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“But I think it’s critically important that there be a real, serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition, threatened people’s lives, defaced public property, caused great damage, that they be held accountable,” he said.
“I think that’s a view that’s held by the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in the Congress.”
Five people were killed when thousands of pro-Trump supporters violently stormed Congress and interrupted a vote to confirm Biden’s Electoral College victory.
A veteran Capitol Police cop on duty during the riots also tragically died by suicide on Saturday.
On Friday, Twitter announced that it has seen increased activity on its site suggesting a second attack was being planned on the Capitol and surrounding buildings in the days before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
On Monday, the National Guard announced it would bolster the number of troops in the nation’s capitol to at least 10,000 in advance of Biden’s inauguration.
In a call with reporters, Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson said troop numbers could rise to as high as 15,000 — nearly triple the number of troops rushed to Congress on Wednesday when local police were quickly overwhelmed by protesters.
The chief of the Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms have both resigned as calls grow for the creation of a commission to probe how protesters were able to get so close to lawmakers who were sent scurrying for safety.
Once inside the Capitol building, some rioters gained access to both chambers of Congress while others vandalized offices including the chambers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
A number of the rioters have already been rounded up and charged by federal authorities.
While Biden’s inauguration will still be a low-key affair compared to previous years because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the former veep, 78, is still expected to be sworn-in on the steps of Congress.
The hallowed building has since been surrounded by unscalable fencing but further protests and demonstrations from Trump’s supporters are expected to roil Washington.
Biden says he’ll take oath outdoors as National Guard floods DC for inauguration The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.