National Guard called into Washington for pro-Trump rally Wednesday
Hundreds of National Guard troops will be in D.C. from Jan. 5-7.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that about 340 National Guard members have been called to the nation's capital for this week's major political events – including Congress' efforts Wednesday to finalize the 2020 presidential election and a rally the same day by President Trump supporters contesting the balloting results that show Democrat Joe Biden as the winner.
The "Stop the Steal" rally has been planned for several weeks and is being organized by those who think that voting irregularities and actions by election officials in some states resulted in Trump losing the election.
Among the concerns of Bowser, a Democrat, and others is that Trump supporters will clash with members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The National Guard will have about 115 members at a time on duty from Tuesday to Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
"We will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city," Bowser said during a press conference. She also told people to avoid confrontations with anyone "looking for a fight."
The troops will be used to facilitate traffic control points, assist officers at all of the city's Metro stops and help manage large crowds, but they will not be armed or wear body armor. There will be no D.C. Guard members on the National Mall or at the Capitol.
"Some of our intelligence certainly suggests there will be increased crowd sizes," acting Police Chief Robert Contee said. "There are people intent on coming to our city armed."
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