Trump approves emergency declaration for D.C. ahead of Biden inauguration

President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for Washington, D.C. ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, which will add to the local response and provide more funding to pay for increased security. 

The approval was given by Trump on Monday after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested the declaration on Sunday, and the declaration will run from Monday through January 24.

FEMA will provide the assistance and support for additional police presence and other resources necessary to protect the nation’s capital from any threats it may face around the inauguration.

“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” the declaration stated. “Emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 100 percent Federal funding.”

FBI reports threats

The move comes as some in Washington fear additional violence after a riot at the Capitol on January 6. An FBI internal memo said that there have been threats of violence being organized by violent extremists in all 50 states and the U.S. capital between now and Inauguration Day.

“Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity,” the FBI said in a statement to Fox News. “As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights.”

Biden said he wasn’t concerned about potential violence at the inauguration. “I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” he told reporters on Monday. “And we’ve been getting briefed.”

At least 10,000 National Guard troops will be in D.C. for the inauguration, The Hill reported.

Plans in motion

Outgoing acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said on Monday that the Secret Service will make preparations for the inauguration beginning on Wednesday, six days earlier than planned, due to the recent riot.

In his final tweet, posted before Twitter permanently suspended his personal account, Trump announced he would not attend the inauguration amid an insistence that there was significant voter fraud in the election and that he actually defeated Joe Biden in legally cast votes on Election Day.

Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend the inauguration, according to media reports, and Biden said that he is welcome to come. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton also reportedly plan to attend.

In-person attendance at the inauguration will be limited because of the coronavirus, so it is not clear how many people will attend.

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