In the wake of the attack on the Capitol, that already elevated security level is now being ramped up significantly. The risk of the incoming president and vice-president, three former presidents, the nine members of the US supreme court, and most members of Congress – all of whom are expected to attend the inauguration – being exposed to a repeat attack by a angry mob is very dangerous and can have a serious outcome.
Joe Biden’s ascent to the presidency on January 20th has been declared a “national security special event”.
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“There’s going to have to be major, major reviews of what happened and changes made in terms of beefing up security,” Amy Klobuchar, the Democratic senator who sits on the joint congressional committee overseeing inauguration ceremonies, told CBS News.
Within hours of Wednesday’s carnage, that beefing up was already in plain sight. A 7ft-tall “non-scalable” fence is being erected in a giant circle around the Capitol grounds where it will remain for at least 30 days.
A state of emergency has been declared in Washington D.C. that will last until the day after the inauguration. More than 6,200 national guard soldiers will be in stationed in the city by this weekend, according to the mayor.
Driving the scramble to increase security is the realization that what happened on Wednesday amounted to a security failure of immense proportions.
In a statement, the United States Secret Service, which is primarily responsible for security at the inauguration, said the inauguration was “a foundational element of our democracy” and “the safety and security of all those participating” was “of the utmost importance.”
Representative Jason Crow and former Army Ranger, said he had spoken with military officials who were aware of “possible threats posed by would-be terrorists” in the coming days and were working with local and federal law enforcements officers to prevent them.
Sources: CBS, The Federalist, and New York Times; Photo: wtop.com