Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told federal law enforcement to stand down just one day before a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, smashing windows, entering the chambers, and forcing lawmakers and congressional staff inside into lockdown.
“To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway,” Bowser wrote in a letter to acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy.
According to Bowser, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department in coordination with the U.S. Park Police, Capitol Police, and Secret Sevice were well-equipped to handle whatever problems could come up during the Trump rallies planned for Wednesday.
“The District of Columbia Government has not requested personnel from any other federal law enforcement agencies,” she continued. “To avoid confusion, we ask that any request for additional assistance be coordinated using the same process and procedures.”
Bowser also explained that the presence of “unidentifiable” federal law enforcement agents in D.C. could “cause confusion” and “become a national security threat” because of the lack of distinction between them and “armed groups.”
Despite Bowser’s confidence in her own law enforcement agencies, police were quickly overwhelmed Wednesday afternoon as massive rallies turned to chaotic rioting in the Capitol, forcing calls for backup from President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services.
We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) January 6, 2021
Confirming other reports: @SpeakerPelosi has requested National Guard troops to clear and secure the Capitol via request from the Capitol Police Board.
A D.C. government official tells me troops are on the way.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 6, 2021
BREAKING: The entire D.C. National Guard will be activated today, putting about 1,100 guardsmen on duty tonight, defense official tells me. Comes after breach of Capitol by pro-Trump protesters.
— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) January 6, 2021
The Virginia National Guard and 200 state troopers are being sent to DC, per a top Va official.
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) January 6, 2021