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Capitol Hill with flowers. Photo credit: Matthew Bornhorst

Washington DC mayor, police chief curiously allowed no preparations for Trump rally

The incursion into the Capitol building in Washington DC by President Trump's supporters, needs further investigation. Even though his acolytes had been called on to gather on the Hill, there had been almost no measures taken to prevent the crowd from entry.

Published: January 12, 2021, 7:30 am

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    Washington, DC

    Curiously, the Mayor of Washington DC explicitly rejected federal help before the Trump rally.

    Similarly, Capitol Police chief Steven Sund had been told by his superiors to not call for timely backup by the National Guard.

    In an interview with The Washington Post, Sund confirmed that he had asked House and Senate security officials for permission to request that the DC National Guard be placed on standby for the event in case backup was needed, but he said he had been turned down. According to Sund, his superiors had been uncomfortable with the “optics” of formally declaring an emergency ahead of Wednesday’s demonstration.

    His superiors however do not have any problem with the current “optics” of an insurrection.

    “If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” he told the Post.

    There was also a diversion of police forces with a pipe bomb placed near the Republican National Committee headquarters. This well-timed incident delayed the arrival of more police forces at the Capitol.

    “There was definitely a higher sense of urgency” on police radio traffic even though Trump supporters had breached the east side of the Capitol, according to Ashan Benedict, the head of the Washington field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Benedict had been working with the Capitol Police at the nearby Republican Party headquarters.

    “Benedict connected with a commander of the Capitol Police SWAT team who was inside the complex, who acknowledged that they needed immediate help but said he needed a moment to arrange the official request,” the NYT reported.

    The incursion, now blamed on Trump, seems to have been the result of a willful lack of planning by DC officials. There are thirteen councilors on Washington, DC City Council. Of the total of thirteen, only two councilors are not Democrats. Washington is dominated by eleven Democratic city councils, who alone determine the fate of the American capital with around 600 000 inhabitants.

    The Republicans have not had a single city council member since 2009. The African-American Muriel Bowser has been the city’s mayor since 2015, and of course she is also a member of the Democratic Party. Her orders were clearly politically motivated.

    The Democratic mayor’s orders for the District of Columbia National Guard ( DCNG) were: “No DCNG personnel may be armed during this deployment, and at no time will DCNG personnel or their equipment be involved in the surveillance, search or seizure of US citizens domestically.”

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