The Justice Department will have “no tolerance whatsoever” for any attempt to disrupt the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden next week, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen warned Wednesday.
Rosen’s warning came when National Guard troops began rolling into the Capitol – and some members of Congress bristled with new rules requiring members to enter through metal detectors.
Rosen, in a video statement, described the assault on the United States Capitol a week ago as “an intolerable, shocking and tragic episode” in United States history. The FBI has warned that protests, sometimes violent, could spread across the country, starting Sunday.
Rosen has vowed not to allow a repeat of the destruction next week.
“I want to send a clear message to anyone considering violence, threats of violence or any other criminal behavior,” Rosen said. “We will have no tolerance for any attempt to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on January 20 that our Constitution calls for.”
Rosen said federal, state and local law enforcement officials would reverse any attempt to forcibly occupy government buildings.
“There will be no excuse for violence, vandalism or any other lawlessness,” Rosen said. “We will spare no resources to protect public safety in the coming days.”
“Everyone is on alert”: State capitals prepare for possible armed protests
Concerns about more chaos were not enough to stop some members of Congress from balking at a new security requirement. Matt Fuller, a reporter for the Huffington Post, said he saw at least 10 Republicans walking around the metal detector. Members of both sides have escaped on Twitter.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Argued that she was legally permitted to carry her gun in the Capitol complex.
“The metal detectors outside the House would not have ended the violence we saw last week,” she said, calling them “just another political coup” by the president. of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., Complained of “intense security measures” subjecting lawmakers to “fight like criminals”.
“We are now living in the Communist America of Pelosi!” Said Lesko.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., Said he saw Rep. Van Taylor, R-Texas, refuse to pass through a metal detector and argue with officers from the United States Capitol Police. Beyer tweeted that many children enter school with metal detectors, “and they deal with it more carefully than members of Congress.”
“Don’t these people understand that literally everyone has to go through metal detectors to get in here?” Beyer said. “Challenge yourself.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., From the Detroit area, tweeted, “Now they know how HS students in my district feel. Vacuum the buttercups.
The tightening of security comes a week after a crowd, fueled by President Donald Trump’s denied claims that a “stolen” election marched from the White House to Capitol Hill, where rioters occupied the building for hours in a bloody but unfortunate attempt to stop. lawmakers to confirm Biden’s election victory. Five people died, including a policeman.
Capitol Police, along with a long list of law enforcement agencies ranging from the Washington and suburban police departments to the FBI and the Pentagon, have said they will not let this happen again. .
A phalanx of up to 15,000 National Guard troops will be available. Senior Pentagon military officials called the riot “sedition and insurgency” and warned all its troops to honor their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution. The memo to all active duty and reserve troops was signed by Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with seven other leaders.
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., Said the Pentagon has been urged to screen all members of the security service for Biden’s inauguration to ensure they “do not sympathize with domestic terrorists” .
DC and states strengthen security as the possibility of violence looms
The FBI reports that pro-Trump protests could develop in all 50 states where national law enforcement is on high alert. No state capital has garnered more attention than Michigan, where six men were indicted last month for conspiring to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Attorney General Dana Nessel warned that the Lansing Capitol was “unsafe” and a state commission banned the open carrying of weapons in the building. The open carrying of firearms is still permitted outside the gates of the Capitol, an issue relevant to any demonstration on Capitol grounds.
“This is something that we are monitoring closely and we will ensure that the necessary security measures are in place,” said Tiffany Brown, spokesperson for Whitmer.
Security concerns in the foreground: Michigan House and Senate prepare to meet
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor asked Whitmer to activate the Michigan National Guard, and state police on Tuesday stepped up visibility in and around the Capitol.
A 6-foot-high chain link fence will climb around the building on Friday, said Michigan Capitol Commission Vice Chairman John Truscott, describing the effort as similar to what was done in the mid-1990s when members of the Ku Klux Klan demonstrated on Capitol Hill. The fence will be temporary, but it is not known when it will fall, he said.
Florida Law Enforcement Agencies on high alert amid threats from the State Capitol
Other states are also preparing. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis, who declined to join Trump’s bipartisan criticism of the Capitol Riot, warned Tuesday that law enforcement back-ups would be on site at the State Capitol . He said he knew nothing “specific” about Tallahassee.
“If something is messy, we will act very quickly,” the governor said. “Don’t worry about it.”
Contributor: Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY; Jeff Burlew, Democrat of Tallahassee; and Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press