Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20 January.
The request for a federal emergency declaration was made by Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday in the wake of the riots at the US Capitol on 6 January.
Federal law enforcement believes that more attacks at statehouses across the US and at the capital could still happen.
The Department of Homeland Security asked the US Secret Service to begin “National Special Security Event” operations (preparations for the inauguration) on 13 January.
Acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf, who resigned on Monday, announced that he moved operations “in light of the events of the past week and the evolving national security landscape leading up to the inauguration” and at the guidance of Secret Service director James Murray.
The federal emergency declaration will be in effect until 24 January.
Mayor Bowser told Americans to not visit DC for the inauguration, stressing that “if I’m scared of anything, it’s for our democracy, because we have very extreme factions in our country that are armed and dangerous”.
“Our goals right now are to encourage Americans to participate virtually and to protect the District of Columbia from a repeat of the violent insurrection experienced at the Capitol and its grounds,” she said.
In her letter seeking the president’s approval, Bowser said: “Based on recent events and intelligence assessments, we must prepare for large groups of trained and armed extremists to come to Washington DC.”
The FBI has presented a memo to law enforcement partners warning of “armed protests” by far-right extremists in all 50 states and at the capital following the riot in the halls of Congress last week. The riots led to the deaths of at least five people, including a Capitol Police officer. Several people have been charged.
“This identified group is also planning to ‘storm’ government offices including in the District of Columbia and in every state, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump, on 20 January,” based on a bulletin obtained by CNN.
The FBI is also monitoring reports of “various threats to harm” the president-elect, as well as vice president-elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the report states.
These preparations are an attempt to avoid what happened at the Capitol last week. Trump’s supporters rallied at statehouses across the U.S. to protest against the counting of Electoral College votes.
Congress was able to confirm the election of Joe Biden as president early Thursday morning.
Vice President Mike Pence presented the tallies at around 3:40 a.m. ET after lawmakers accepted the result. He gaveled the session closed at 3:44 a.m.
After Biden’s confirmation, Trump sent a message through Dan Scavino, deputy chief of staff for communications, stating there would be “an orderly transition on January 20th.”
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called Trump “undoubtedly our worst president,” and whom he said, “bears a great deal of the blame” for the riot.
“This mob was in good part President Trump’s doing,” said Schumer. “His responsibility, his everlasting shame.”