A few thousand National Guard troops could end up staying in the nation’s capital until mid-March, a U.S. defense official confirms to Fox News.
The National Guard is in the process of meeting with various federal agencies to “determine their requirements” for troops to stay beyond January, the official said. Planning is underway, but no final decisions have been made, the official added.
Around 25,000 Guardsmen deployed to Washington D.C., ahead of President Biden’s inauguration after the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol where authorities were badly outnumbered by pro-Trump supporters.
The ceremony went off with only a few minor arrests. About a dozen Guard troops were removed from their posts after being vetted by the FBI, including two who made extremist statements about the event.
In a statement Thursday, the National Guard said about 7,000 troops would remain in Washington through the “end of the month.” But there is concern among some city and federal authorities that protesters might return to Washington in early March on the original presidential inauguration date, March 4.