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Mayor demands tighter security in D.C. for Biden inauguration

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 10, 2021

Daniel Flatley Bloomberg News

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser asked the Department of Homeland Security for enhanced security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony following last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“The 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser wrote in a letter to Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf posted to Bowser’s Twitter account.

A mob of pro-Trump extremists overwhelmed the U.S. Capitol Police force on Jan. 6, storming into the Capitol and forcing their way into the House and Senate chambers and lawmakers’ offices. The failure to protect the seat of American democracy was unparalleled in modern times.

Bowser is asking that the FBI provide daily intelligence briefings to the agencies and officers responsible for securing the event, and that the National Park Service cancel all public gathering permits from Monday through Jan. 24, and not issue new ones.

“We have made this request repeatedly since June 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this week demonstrated the National Park Service’s willingess to approve last-minute permits and major adjustments,” she said.

Bowser also asked DHS to extend the coordination of a special event period for the same days. The initial timeline would only have covered the days just before and after inauguration.

She also recommended that Homeland Security get permission from Congress to include the Capitol and its grounds in the security perimeter. And she said she’d ask President Donald Trump to issue a pre-emergency declaration for the district to allow for further federal coordination.

“I will tell you that, given the events of last week, that this inauguration preparation has to be different than any other inauguration,” Bowser said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.

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