FBI warns of plans for armed protests ahead of Biden's inauguration

House Democrats introduced article of impeachment against President Trump

The FBI has warned of armed protests being planned for Washington and all 50 US state capitals in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on 20 January, a federal law enforcement source said on Monday, Reuters reported. In other steps to safeguard the US capital, the National Guard was authorised to send up to 15,000 troops to Washington, and tourists were barred from visiting the Washington Monument until 24 January.

The chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel Hokanson, told reporters he expected about 10,000 troops in Washington by Saturday to help provide security, logistics and communications. He said the number could rise to 15,000 if requested by local authorities.

"I'm not afraid of taking the oath outside," Biden told reporters in Newark, Delaware, referring to the traditional setting for the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol grounds. But he said it was critically important that people "who engaged in sedition and threatened people's lives, defaced public property, caused great damage" be held accountable.

Biden's inaugural committee said on Monday the theme of the ceremony would be "America United." Trump said last week he would not attend the ceremony, a decision the president-elect supported.

In state capitals, governors are on high alert ahead of the inauguration. In Wisconsin, a swing state where Trump alleged election fraud, Governor Tony Evers authorised the Wisconsin National Guard to support the state's Capitol Police. In Michigan, another swing state where Biden's victory was contested by Trump, the state's Capitol Commission, which oversees the legislature, issued an order to ban the open carrying of weapons inside the Capitol building in Lansing.

On Monday Democrats in the US House of Representatives introduced an article of impeachment against outgoing President Donald Trump. They also introduced a resolution urging VP Mike Pence to invoke the Constitution's 25th Amendment and strip Trump of his powers by declaring him unfit to perform his duties. House Republicans rejected the bill, paving the way for a vote in the full House on Tuesday. The single impeachment article charges Trump with incitement of insurrection. It accuses him of stoking violence against the US government after a mob of his supporters, riled up by his claims of election fraud, stormed the US Capitol last week.

 

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