Records: Trump allies behind rally that ignited Capitol riot; Heavily fortified statehouses see small protests
DEPUTY DIRECTOR – GLOBAL NEWS COORDINATION, LONDON
From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.
Media www.rajawalisiber.com – As America and the nation’s capital prepares for a momentous week of presidential transition and inauguration in a time of deep-seated crises, tension remains rife in the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol less than two weeks ago.
U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
That concern is prompting the FBI to vet all 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event, Lolita C. Baldor reports.
The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection by pro-Trump rioters.
And it underscores a fear stretching into the dark recesses of the national psyche:
that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.
Rally Organizers: An AP review of records finds that veterans of Donald Trump’s failed campaign were key players in the rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol. The findings undercut claims that the event was the brainchild of Trump’s grassroots supporters. A pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally.” Paperwork filed to get an event permit from the National Park Service lists more than half a dozen people who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s campaign. Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally, Richard Lardner and Michelle R. Smith report.
Demonstrations: Heavily fortified statehouses around the U.S. saw small and peaceful protests, despite widespread fears of another burst of right-wing violence like the Capitol siege in Washington. There were no reports of any clashes by nightfall. During the day, crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some said they were there to back Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or oppose government overreach. David A. Lieb and Adam Geller report.
Bivouac of the Dome: To most Americans, the sight of armed National Guard troops sleeping in the Capitol Rotunda was shocking and disturbing. But it also was an echo of the far-distant past — the Capitol was used as a bivouac for troops during the Civil War. Among them was the great-grandfather of AP’s Allen G. Breed, who wrote to his wife that he wished she could look in on him and his fellow troops, and see how comfortably they had settled into life in the Capitol.