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Law enforcement and military taking 'unprecedented' approach to security in DC

David S. Cloud, Jie Jenny Zou and Del Quentin Wilber, Brian Contreras, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

"In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind," said Trump, who has frequently undermined his own calls for nonviolence with inflammatory public statements later. "That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers."

In a new video released Wednesday by the White House after the impeachment vote, Trump denounced the mob attack on the Capitol and said he had authorized "all necessary resources to maintain order" and to "ensure that a transition can occur safely and without incident."

The violent mob marched from the White House to the Capitol on Jan. 6, occupying the building for hours to try to stop lawmakers from cementing Biden's win. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer. Two explosive devices were found — outside the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee headquarters — but they did not explode.

Several officials and lawmakers said the extensive protective measures made it highly unlikely that rioters could repeat the successful breach the now-heavily defended perimeter at the Capitol or threaten the safety of Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris or other officials.

"Based on the intelligence briefing that we had, I think there are a number of extreme groups who are intending to try to come to Washington on the 20th and stop the inauguration, but they won't be able to," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo.

Washington was not the only capital that was augmenting security in coming days. Many states were also boosting police presence at capitol buildings ahead of an election protest planned Sunday by Trump supporters.

 

In Michigan, a state commission banned the open carrying of firearms at the statehouse, which was overrun by militia members during a protest last year. Other states, including Arizona and Georgia, erected barriers around statehouses, while others including Texas assigned state police and National Guard troops to protect them.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Lakewood Democrat, declined to disclose security measures they have taken in Sacramento but said in a statement that officials "are working together in close cooperation to ensure the safety of everyone who works in or visits the Capitol."

For his part, the president-elect has played down concerns about taking the oath of office outside, on a temporary platform constructed on the Capitol's West Front. "I'm not afraid of taking the oath outside," Biden told reporters Monday.

Trump is skipping the event, but Vice President Mike Pence will be there, along with former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and their wives.

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