The run up to President Joe Biden’s inauguration saw Washington, D.C. flooded with security personnel, including thousands of National Guard troops.
But as the Washington Examiner reported this week, many of those troops are still in the city, and that has some wondering why.
Some 13,700 Guard members remain deployed and roughly 5,000 are expected to stay for months longer, according to the Examiner.
Examiner reporter Abraham Mahshie spoke with one California guardsman who said that he understood his role as being “a deterrent.” When asked when the deployment would end and they could go home, he responded, “I’d like to know that.”
Mahshie also reported that he witnessed a Capitol Police officer asking to see a journalist’s credentials and then telling the reporter “to direct questions to the agency’s press office.”
National Guard Bureau spokeswoman Nahaku McFadden said that the number of troops would be “drawing down over the next couple of days.”
“A particular, singular individual may not know exactly when they may be leaving, but for the National Guard, we’re staying here through mid-March,” she added.
Guard members mistreated
According to the Examiner, “The National Guard deferred questions about the threat assessment requiring the protection to the FBI.”
However, an FBI official told the Examiner, “It’s interesting that they would push you to us for that one. We do do threat assessment. We’re deferring to National Guard and Secret Service on whether National Guard thinks that they need to be out there.”
A scandal erupted last week following a report from Politico which revealed that 5,000 guardsmen were sent out to sleep in an unheated parking garage after serving to protect the inauguration.
One guardsman said, “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.”