The query comes as US lawmakers raise concerns about the continued threat of violence by hardline groups following the deadly Capitol Hill riot.
The Mayor of Washington, DC, has asked for security to be strengthened during the January 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden in the US capital following the deadly violence on Capitol Hill last week.
In a January 9 letter to the Department of Homeland Security posted on Twitter on Sunday, Muriel Bowser said Biden’s inauguration “takes an” entirely different “approach” in the face of the mayhem, injury and death at the Capitol. ” must be on January 6th.
Five people, including a local police officer, died after supporters of Donald Trump, spurred on by false claims by the U.S. president that his November elections were stolen, overran the Capitol when Congress met to claim Biden’s election victory to confirm.
I urge the Department of Homeland Security to adapt its approach to inauguration in a number of ways, and I have set this out in the following letter to acting Secretary Wolf. pic.twitter.com/GaxUWfFbxk
– Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 10, 2021
In the letter, Bowser urged the department to expand the emergency policy so federal and local authorities can better prepare for the inauguration.
She requested daily intelligence and threat information from the FBI from January 11 to January 24, and all public assembly permits were canceled and denied during that period.
Homeland Security also needs to work with the U.S. Department of Defense and Justice, as well as Congress and the Supreme Court, to set up a federal operation for federal property in the capital, she said.
The mayor said her demands were “essential to demonstrate our collective determination to ensure the constitutional transition of our nation’s power and capital in the days preceding”.
Threat of violence
Bowser’s letter comes as U.S. Democratic lawmakers urge Trump to be charged with inciting Capitol rioters, dozens of whom have been arrested and charged with various crimes related to the Jan. 6 incident.
On Sunday, Democratic Senate Chairman Chuck Schumer said, “The threat from violent extremist groups remains high and the next few weeks are critical to our democratic process.” Biden’s inauguration is imminent.
Schumer said in a statement that he spoke to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Saturday to urge him to “relentlessly pursue” the Capitol attackers.
The US Department of Justice said on Sunday that it had accused, among other things, two other suspected rioters of knowingly entering and staying in a restricted building or site without legal authority.
While the investigation into the riot continues, police in the US states of Virginia and Washington said they have put officials on leave as the authorities check to see if they attended the events off-duty.
Fire departments in Florida and New York City also said they had reported allegations to federal authorities that some of their members may have been present when the mob broke into the Capitol.
Meanwhile, US Representative Jason Crow said US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had informed him that 25 domestic terrorism cases had been opened in connection with the uprising.
Crow said McCarthy had also told him the Pentagon was “aware of other possible threats from potential terrorists” in the days up to and including Biden’s inauguration.
Trump does not participate
Meanwhile, Trump has said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration – a decision the US president-elect hailed last week as “one of the few things he and I ever agreed on”.
However, according to a government official, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be in attendance.
Even before the violence broke out on Capitol Hill last week, the Biden team had planned a reduced opening event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think you’re going to see something closer to convention than a typical inauguration,” Biden said last month, suggesting that the celebrations would be largely virtual, as was the case with the National Democratic Convention in August .
“First and foremost, my goal is to protect America and still allow people to celebrate – to see one another celebrate,” he added at the time.