WASHINGTON — As many as 15,000 National Guard members are preparing to leave Washington, D.C. and head home now that the inauguration of President Joe Biden is over.
Enforcement agencies say the inaugural went off with only a handful of minor arrests and incidents.
The National Guard Bureau says that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty.
The bureau said the Guard is helping states with coordination and the logistics so that troops can get home.
Some congressional leaders took exception Thursday night to the treatment of some of the remaining National Guard members, who were told to leave the Capitol grounds Thursday and moved to a parking garage, according to CNN.
Some areas on the Capitol grounds had been designated earlier in the day as “authorized rest areas, where members of the Guard could take breaks from their shifts protecting the Captiol,” CNN reported.
Some of the National Guard members who spoke with CNN said they “feel betrayed.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, called the decision “unacceptable.”
“Numerous Senators working to fix this as we speak,” Murphy said on Twitter. “I just got off the phone with the acting Capitol Police Chief who insists there was no general request for the Guard to vacate the building. But whatever happened, they are working to fix the problem now.”
Unacceptable. Numerous Senators working to fix this as we speak. I just got off the phone with the acting Capitol Police Chief who insists there was no general request for the Guard to vacate the building. But whatever happened, they are working to fix the problem now. https://t.co/dR5LQvN1UF— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 22, 2021
The mass mobilization of National Guard members came in response to deadly violence that erupted Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob overran the Capitol during the Electoral College certification process.
“The group was forced to rest in a nearby parking garage without internet reception, with just one electrical outlet, and one bathroom with two stalls for 5,000 troops,” one National Guard member who spoke with Politico said.
Politico was the first to report the story.The National Guard Bureau told CNN on Thursday night that the relocation was necessary with Congress in session.
Missouri and Kansas sent members of their national guards to Washington to help secure the Capitol grounds ahead of President Biden’s inauguration Wednesday amid an FBI report warning about the possibility of additional violence in Washington and at state capitals across the country.