The same day the U.S. Congress voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, the nation’s capital prepared to welcome thousands more National Guard troops to help keep the peace during next week’s transfer of power.
“I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards of beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here,” Robert Contee, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, told reporters Wednesday.
Defense officials confirmed the increased authorization, which comes just days after the National Guard said it was sending up to 15,000 troops to the city to help with security ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in November’s election.
Officials said 10,000 Guardsmen — part-time soldiers who can be deployed overseas but who are often called upon to help with emergencies in their home states — are expected to be on duty in Washington by Friday. The rest will arrive soon after.
More than 6,000 National Guard troops have been on duty in Washington and at the U.S. Capitol itself since pro-Trump extremists stormed the building last Wednesday.