National Guardsmen are back in the Capitol after being forced to decamp to a garage

Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

Following the Capitol siege – which was an inside job – the complex web of city and federal jurisdictional authority ordered 20,000 National Guardsmen to protect DC, the White House and the Capitol. The National Guardsmen arrived after the siege, with the intention of protecting the city and the federal buildings from another armed insurrection of white supremacist terrorists. They succeeded. The show of force was enough in DC and across the country – the Nazi neckbeards stayed home and wept into their machine guns. Following the inauguration, it seems like Capitol Police somehow thought they had the authority to tell the National Guard to, like, stand down and go sleep in a parking garage. This sh-t got fixed in a matter of hours though and no one is sure who ordered what or why.

Thousands of National Guardsmen were allowed back into the Capitol Thursday night, hours after U.S. Capitol Police officials ordered them to vacate the facilities, sending them outdoors or to nearby parking garages after two weeks pulling security duty after the deadly riot on Jan. 6. One unit, which had been resting in the Dirksen Senate Office building, was abruptly told to vacate the facility on Thursday, according to one Guardsman. The group was forced to rest in a nearby parking garage without internet reception, with just one electrical outlet, and one bathroom with two stalls for 5,000 troops, the person said. Temperatures in Washington were in the low 40s by nightfall.

“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed,” the Guardsman said.

All National Guard troops were told to vacate the Capitol and nearby congressional buildings on Thursday, and to set up mobile command centers outside or in nearby hotels, another Guardsman confirmed. They were told to take their rest breaks during their 12-hour shifts outside and in parking garages, the person said.

Top lawmakers from both parties took to Twitter to decry the decision and call for answers after POLITICO first reported the news Thursday night, with some even offering their offices to be used as rest areas. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted: “If this is true, it’s outrageous. I will get to the bottom of this.” And Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) noted that the Capitol complex remains closed to members of the public, “so there’s plenty of room for troops to take a break in them.” By 10 p.m., Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said the situation was “being resolved” and that the Guardsmen would be able to return indoors later in the night.

“Just made a number of calls and have been informed Capitol Police have apologized to the Guardsmen and they will be allowed back into the complex tonight,” added Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who lost both of her legs in combat. “I’ll keep checking to make sure they are.”

A Guard source confirmed late Thursday night that all troops in the parking garages were ordered to return inside the Capitol. Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, the Guard’s Inauguration Task Force commander, confirmed in a statement to POLITICO a little after midnight that the troops are out of the garage and back into the Capitol building as authorized by the USCP Watch Commander. They will take their breaks near Emancipation Hall going forward.

[From Politico]

Politico goes on to cite the Capitol Police as the reason why there was so much confusion – the Capitol Police had requested that the National Guardsmen get reduced hours away from the Capitol complex, but no one is taking credit for the apparent order to force National Guard into parking garages in the dead of winter. I’m glad this was taken care of within hours and that the Guardsmen are back inside the Capitol where it’s presumably a lot warmer. I would imagine that many NG units will be sent home soon enough, but perhaps that order won’t come until we see how the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump plays out. I imagine there will be some terrorists who want to “protest” the trial.

US House of Repsresentatives votes to impeach President Trump for the second time.

US House of Repsresentatives votes to impeach President Trump for the second time.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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9 Responses to “National Guardsmen are back in the Capitol after being forced to decamp to a garage”

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  1. Izzy says:

    Senator Hirono is on CNN right now blasting that decision and loudly stating that they’ve been asking who made the decision to do that and they haven’t had any answers… YET.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    And this is where the acronym SNAFU comes into play. I’m sure no one will ever take responsibility.

  3. grabbyhands says:

    Hmmm, apparently all the insurrectionists within the force haven’t been chased out after all.

    I’m pissed that I’m still this paranoid, but it seems way too convenient that no one knows who made this order or that no one is owning up to it. This is why anyone and everyone connected to the January 6th coup attempt needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – apparently lessons still need to be learned. I have zero interest in trying to unite with people like this. I also hope this underscores how serious the situation still is.

  4. Talia says:

    If they genuinely can’t trace who gave this order (unlikely) then that shows the lines of accountability among the Capitol Police need amending immediately. It should not be possible for an order to remove thousands of armed guards after a major terrorist incident to be untraceable.

    • B n A fn says:

      They will trace it, by today I’m sure.

      • SarahCS says:

        I’m guessing someone realises now they made the wrong call and is trying to avoid having to own up to it.

        Or something way more malicious. Who knows at this point.

  5. pottymouth pup says:

    and, on cue, Republicans who helped incite the insurrection like Boebert & McCarthy are blaming Schumer & Pelosi for the situation

  6. AMM says:

    As someone who was in the military, this feels like politico is making this a bigger deal than it actually is. It just sounds like there was a breakdown of communication/planning between the National Guard leadership and the Capitol Hill police. When you have 20K troops sent last minute to an urban area, it’s bound to happen. But a lot of this is the responsibility of the National Guard. They have logistics people and a chain of command that should have dealt with this instead of agreeing to the car park. I’ve been part of units that have been removed pretty quickly from an area, and sometimes that involved sleeping packed like sardines in a truck until we got better arrangements and sometimes that involved getting a swanky ass hotel because my leadership was awesome.

  7. SpankyB says:

    Never mind. It was deleted.