World Events

Inauguration: DC Mayor asks White House for emergency declaration funding for security

“In light of the attack on the Capitol and intelligence suggesting further violence is likely during the Inaugural period, my administration has reevaluated our preparedness posture for the Inauguration, including requesting the extension of DC National Guard support through January 24, 2021,” Bowser wrote in her letter to the President.

“I have determined that the plans and resources previously assigned to the Inauguration are insufficient to establish a safe and secure environment as a direct result of the insurrectionist actions that occurred on January 6. Based on recent events and intelligence assessments, we must prepare for large groups of trained and armed extremists to come to Washington, DC.”

“We are seeing … chatter from these white supremacists, from these far-right extremists — they feel emboldened in this moment,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks and counters hate. “We fully expect that this violence could actually get worse before it gets better.”

Biden to take train to Washington for inauguration, moving forward to 'not be deterred' by violence or virus
Biden has indicated he intends to proceed with the inaugural — already curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic — as planned despite the violence at the Capitol last week. Trump is not planning to attend.
Beyond seeking an emergency declaration, Bowser told CBS’ “Face the Nation” earlier Sunday that she will also ask the Department of Homeland Security to begin their “national special security event” timeline sooner than planned, as well as include the US Capitol in their coverage area for the inauguration.

“I will tell you that given the events of last week, that this inauguration preparation has to be different than any other inauguration with only 10 days to go,” she explained during the interview.

Bowser ultimately assessed in her letter to Trump that despite the security assets the city has in place, “significant preparedness gaps remain that cannot be remedied without this emergency declaration and direct federal assistance.”

In coordination with the federal government, she wrote, “we must take immediate, coordinated action to increase the security posture in the Nation’s Capital to prevent an emergency situation during the Inauguration.”

CNN’s Rob Kuznia, Curt Devine, Scott Bronstein and Bob Ortega contributed to this report.


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