As housekeepers ready the White House for President-elect Joe Biden, Washington streets will be filled by over 25,000 National Guard soldiers. That’s five times more than the total amount stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Acting US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said there were “25,000 Guardsmen” on Monday who would leave “no stone unturned in securing the capital”
“There are more troops in DC now than there are in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Congressman Seth Moulton commented on the development.
There are reportedly 5,000 soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq combined, according to the United States Department of Defense.
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In Washington, the troops are not there to join in the inauguration parade, but to ensure that the opening ceremony runs smoothly.
The ceremonial mood that followed the inauguration ended on January 6, when the Capitol building was targeted by a crowd charged with the fiery repudiation by President Donald Trump of Biden’s victory. In the storming, five individuals died and recent intelligence reports say that during the inauguration, Trump supporters may launch similar assaults.
The despondency and gloom triggered by the coronavirus pandemic that has already killed nearly 400,000 people across the United States is greater than the fear of another uprising, however. The pandemic pressured the Biden team to postpone most of the inaugural festivities, encouraging Americans on their televisions, laptops and mobile phones to attend the ceremony.
On Wednesday morning, Trump plans to leave the White House, but not for the inaugural stage outside the Congress building where the next president takes the oath of office. He’s going to return home to Florida.
Biden’s residence, who will succeed Trump as Wednesday’s 46th US president. When the oath-taking concludes, Biden will reach his current official residence around midday.
The housekeeping staff told numerous US media outlets that the moving trucks will be waiting outside the gates and as soon as Trump leaves, the packing and unpacking will begin.
Trump has not delivered a farewell speech so far, but the First Lady has.
“I urge each American to […] reflect on what unites us. To rise above what keeps us separated. She said in a video message, “to always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself.”
President-elect Biden, who faces the monumental challenge of rebuilding a fractured country, has stated that his first goal will be to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the second will be to repair the wounds inflicted at the Capitol by the January 6 uprising.
With a CDC and NIH (health agencies) that are separate from political interference, a Surgeon General who is unbiased and talks directly to the public, and an FDA whose decisions are focused on evidence and science alone, our administration will lead with science and experts,” he wrote in a tweet posted on Monday.”
While he has categorically said that he is not going to attend the ceremony, some people say that if he unexpectedly shows up on the stage, considering his inclination to do the unexpected, they will not be shocked.
But if he sticks to his schedule, Trump will be the first U.S. president to miss his successor’s inauguration in 150 years. Yet he needs, for himself, the full protocol given to the outgoing president, even even more so.
He expected a full military parade, attended by all the heads of service, with jets circling above the Pentagon and tanks rolling by. This demand was turned down, presumably because of the crowd assault on January 6.
However, the departing president will get a red-carpet military send-off at the airbase in Andrew, outside Washington. He would also have the presidential aircraft to travel home, Air Force One. Military aviation, if needed, could also fly the plane all the way to Florida. Several hours after the current president is sworn in, Air Force One will return to Washington.
He is required to grant pardons and commutations, possibly more than 100, before Trump exits. US media outlets say that self-pardon is a possibility, although Trump has been cautioned not to do so by legal aides. Any sources say that it is also possible to pardon those involved in the storming of January 6.
Analysts say that Trump will be persuaded to forgive himself because some Democrats have expressly declared their intention to sue him after he leaves the White House.
Democrats have already formed a team at a Senate tribunal to pursue Trump’s conviction as soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends over the impeachment article. This article has been passed by the House already. Trump became the first president to be impeached twice in US history—in 2019 and January 2021.
Past, however, gives Trump some comfort. So far, three recent presidential impeachments have occurred, but none has resulted in a Senate prosecution.