Tens of thousands of National Guardsmen were in Washington, D.C., this week to help U.S. Capitol Police with security, and officials are trying to get to the bottom of the reason why about 5,000 of those troops were ordered to leave the Capitol and rest in a nearby parking garage that had one electrical outlet, no internet reception and jut one bathroom.
The images were shocking, as rows and rows of fatigue-clad Guardsmen were forced to find some sort of shelter on the floor of the garage, as temperatures feel to the low 40’s on Thursday night.
Because of the treatment of the troops, a number of Governors have announced that they are bringing their Guardsmen back to their home states, including Ron DeSantis of Florida, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire.
Mot of the finger pointing was directed towards the Capitol Police, but they released a statement Friday declaring that they were grateful for the National Guard’s help. “The United States Capitol Police immensely appreciates the integral support of the U.S. National Guard in helping to secure the Capitol Complex leading up to, and including the Inaugural ceremony. The Department is grateful for their service and our strong partnership during this time,” the U.S. Capitol Police statement said.
The National Guard said Friday that it was the U.S. Capitol Police ordering them to take their breaks inside the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center parking garage. The USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman essentially said that the Guard was not truthful with that statement.
“I want to assure everyone that, with the exception of specific times on Inauguration Day itself while the swearing-in ceremonies were underway, the United States Capitol police did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities,” Pittman said. “And on Inauguration Day, the Guard was notified and encouraged to reoccupy the spaces in the Capitol and CVC at 2 p.m.”
On Friday, the location for the troops to take their breaks was changed, and they are now allowed to take their breaks near Emancipation Hall.