The demand comes as U.S. lawmakers worry about the continued threat of violence from extremist groups following the deadly riot on Capitol Hill.
The mayor of Washington, DC called for increased security at the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden on January 20 in the US capital after murderous violence on Capitol Hill last week.
In a letter to the US Department of Homeland Security dated Jan. 9 and shared on Twitter on Sunday, Muriel Bowser said that a “very different” approach had to be taken on Biden’s inauguration “given the chaos, injuries and death suffered “at the Capitol. January 6th.
Five people, including a local police officer, have died after supporters of Donald Trump, prompted by the President’s false claims that the November election was stolen from him, stormed the Capitol building as Congress gathered to vote to confirm Biden’s electoral victory.
I urge the United States Department of Homeland Security to adapt its approach to the inauguration in several specific ways and have described them in the following letter to Acting Secretary Wolf. pic.twitter.com/GaxUWfFbxk
– Major Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 10, 2021
In the letter, Bowser asked the department to expand emergency arrangements to allow federal and local agencies to better prepare for the inauguration.
She asked for daily briefings on FBI intelligence and threats Jan. 11-24, and for all public assembly permits, to be canceled and denied during that time.
Homeland Security must also work with the U.S. departments of defense and justice, as well as with Congress and the Supreme Court to establish a deployment of federal forces for federal assets in the capital, she said.
The mayor said her demands “are essential to demonstrate our collective determination to ensure the constitutional transition of power and our nation’s capital in the days leading up to it.”
Threats of violence
Bowser’s letter arrives as U.S. Democratic lawmakers push to dismiss Trump for inciting rioters on Capitol Hill, dozens of whom were arrested and charged with various offenses related to the Jan.6 incident.
On Sunday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said, “The threat from violent extremist groups remains high and the coming weeks are crucial in our democratic process” with Biden’s inauguration looming.
Schumer said in a statement he spoke to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Saturday to urge him to “relentlessly pursue” the attackers on Capitol Hill.
The US Department of Justice said Sunday that he had accused two other suspected rioters of knowingly entering and staying in a building or restricted land without legal permission, among other charges.
As investigations into the riot continue, U.S. state police departments in Virginia and Washington say they put officers on leave as authorities examine whether they took part in the events when they were not in service.
The Florida and New York Fire Departments also said they reported to federal authorities allegations that some of their members may have been present when the crowds burst into the Capitol.
Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Jason Crow said U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had informed him that 25 cases of internal terrorism had been opened in connection with the riot.
Crow said McCarthy also told him the Pentagon was aware of “potential new threats posed by would-be terrorists” in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration.
Trump does not participate
Meanwhile, Trump has said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration – a move by the US president-elect welcomed last week as “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.”
US Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend, however, according to an administration official.
Even before last week’s violence erupted on Capitol Hill, Biden’s team had planned a reduced inaugural event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think you’re going to see something closer to what the convention was than a typical grand opening,” Biden said last month, suggesting the festivities would be mostly virtual, as was the case with the National Convention. Democrat in August.
“First and foremost, my goal is to keep America safe while allowing people to celebrate – to celebrate and to see themselves celebrated,” he added at the time.