WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police has requested a 60-day extension of the National Guard troops who were deployed to protect the U.S. Capitol, according to U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich.
Congresswoman Slotkin stated on social media that the almost 5,000 troops deployed to the Capitol were scheduled to finish their mission on March 12, but with the recent warnings of militia groups threatening to return to D.C. March 4 through 6, that may change.
Slotkin said the decision to request an extension was made in the past 36 hours and National Guard leaders are working to solicit additional troops and volunteers from other states.
Defense officials said that the request is under review at the Pentagon and that the Guard has started checking states for the availability of their troops, in an effort to be prepared if final Defense Department approval is given. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, according to the Associated Press.
Slotkin said some members of Congress have been concerned about whether there is a solid plan to provide security for members and staff going forward.
“We want to understand what the plan is,” she said. “None of us like looking at the fencing, the gates, the uniformed presence around the Capitol. We can’t depend on the National Guard for our security.”
She said there has to be a plan that provides the needed security for the buildings and personnel by the Capitol Police and local law enforcement. Slotkin said it was telling that House members hastened to complete major votes Wednesday so they wouldn't have to be in the building where many fled violent rioters in January. Lawmakers, she said, “don't feel totally secure” in the Capitol.
U.S. Capitol Police officials have also told congressional leaders the razor-wire topped fencing around the Capitol should remain in place for several more months.
Slotkin said, however, that she was going to her office to work on Thursday. “I'm not going to let these guys scare me away,” she said.
The alert announced on Wednesday marks the first notification of a multi-day security threat against Congress, based on intelligence reviewed by the U.S. Capitol Police.
Online chatter from QAnon supports the false notion that former President Donald Trump could still be inaugurated on March 4. The date represents a historic marker when U.S. presidents formerly took the oath of office, until Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s second term in January 1937.
There is a belief by some in the QAnon community that March 4 signals the return of former-President Donald Trump.
Capitol Police had released a statement Tuesday, saying that it was aware of "intelligence pertaining to March 4 and continues to work with all of our law enforcement partners," according to a USCP tweet