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Capitol police seek 2,000 troops to stay to protect Congress

 

▶ Watch Video: U.S. Capitol on alert over possible extremist threats

The United States Capitol Police have requested a little over 2,000 National Guard troops to stay in Washington, D.C. for up to 60 days to support Capitol Hill, defense officials confirmed to CBS News on Thursday. Capitol police confirmed Acting chief Yogananda Pittman submitted the request, and the Department of Defense told CBS News they had received the request and are reviewing it.

The current presence of the National Guard in the capital area is about 5,200 troops as a part of a security mission that took effect following the January 6 riot. That mission is set to end on March 12.

Capitol police requested about 2,000 troops to stay for 30-60 days.

The request for an extension comes after the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a security bulletin that said violent extremists discussed plans to travel on or around March 4 to Washington, D.C., to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers.

The request for the extended stay of about 2,000 troops is designed so there is enough support for four shifts of 500-600 troops at a time.

Inauguration Day from 1793 to 1933 took place on March 4, and conspiracy theorists have discussed this year’s March 4 as the day former President Trump will take office again.

A spokesperson for the National Guard’s mission in Washington, D.C., told CBS News the Guard is in constant contact with civilian agency partners but would not detail any specific threats.


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