Md. National Guard Deployment In DC To Last Through Inauguration

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Members of the Maryland National Guard and specially-trained troopers were among the first out-of-state forces to mobilize and protect the US Capitol during Wednesday’s breach.

Governor Larry Hogan said Thursday there was back-and-forth in getting approval from the Secretary of Defense for the guard to move into the district. He added that their work in the Nation’s Capital will continue through the inauguration and the end of the month.

“I just want to assure all Americans that the State of Maryland will do anything and everything we possibly can to continue to secure the core of our nation’s capital, and to ensure the peaceful transition of power. Today we are extending the Maryland National Guard’s mission in Washington, D.C., through the inauguration and the end of the month,” Hogan said. “As part of a coordinated effort with federal and local law enforcement, the Maryland State Police’s mobile field force team provided security support to restore the peace at the U.S. Capitol building last night, and also assisted the Metropolitan Police throughout the night with the enforcement of curfew violations.”

Governor Hogan’s office released a transcript of his news conference Thursday:

Good afternoon. Joining me are Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, Major General Tim Gowen, who is the adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, and Colonel Jerry Jones, the superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

“Yesterday our nation’s Capitol—the seat of our federal government and the heart of our American democracy—came under siege in a heinous and violent assault.

“While we are all still taking stock of what happened and why it happened, I want to provide a situational update on the State of Maryland’s response yesterday and the additional actions we have taken today.

“I was in the middle of a video conference yesterday afternoon with the Japanese ambassador to the United States when my chief of staff came in to inform me that the U.S. Capitol was under attack. I immediately excused myself from that video conference, and convened an emergency meeting immediately of our entire unified command team, including General Gowen, Colonel Jones, our senior staff, our homeland security advisor, and leaders of Maryland State Police and the Maryland National Guard.

“We immediately offered support to the District of Columbia, which submitted a direct request for law enforcement support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. 

“I directed Colonel Jones to mobilize our mobile field force of 200 specially-trained Maryland State Police troopers to help provide security for our nation’s Capitol. I also instructed General Gowen to immediately call up our initial response force of the Maryland National Guard.

“Right in the middle of that meeting with our security team, I got a phone call from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who was calling me saying that he and Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer were all together in an undisclosed bunker—they had been spirited off to some undisclosed location—that the U.S. Capitol Police was overwhelmed, that there was no federal law enforcement presence, and that the leaders of Congress were pleading with me as the governor of Maryland for assistance from Maryland’s National Guard and State Police.

“I informed Speaker Hoyer and the other leaders that a force of specially trained riot police equipped to respond to civil disturbances as well as members of allied and local law enforcement agencies were already en route to the Capitol.  

“I also told them that I authorized the mobilization of the Maryland National Guard and that I was ready, willing, and able to immediately deploy them to the Capitol. However, we were repeatedly denied approval to do so. Under federal law, the mayor of the District of Columbia does not have authority over the guard, and we must receive approval from the Secretary of Defense before we’re able to send our Maryland National Guard across the border into the federal city, into the District of Columbia. 

“So we had a little back and forth, trying to get that authorization. In the meantime, we did not hesitate to continue to mobilize and get ready so that if and when we finally got that approval, we could immediately move.

“Approximately an hour and a half later, I got a call on my cell phone from the Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, who gave us the authority that we needed to be able to move into the city.

“The initial contingent of Maryland National Guard members were the first to arrive in Washington from out of state.

“I just got back from the DC armory, where I had the chance to meet with and thank some of the members of the National Guard for their service on this important mission to protect our nation’s Capitol. I thanked them for their service, and told them that this assault on our democracy cannot stand.

“I just want to assure all Americans that the State of Maryland will do anything and everything we possibly can to continue to secure the core of our nation’s capital, and to ensure the peaceful transition of power.

“Today we are extending the Maryland National Guard’s mission in Washington, D.C., through the inauguration and the end of the month. 

“As part of a coordinated effort with federal and local law enforcement, the Maryland State Police’s mobile field force team provided security support to restore the peace at the U.S. Capitol building last night, and also assisted the Metropolitan Police throughout the night with the enforcement of curfew violations.

“Maryland State Police commanders are in constant communication with D.C. law enforcement officials, and we have assured them that we will continue to provide any further assistance that they require.

“I spoke to Mayor Bowser last night, and offered her Maryland’s full support in the days and the weeks ahead. 

“In addition, Maryland State Police as well as Maryland Capitol Police, some of which you see around here, have increased security around the Maryland State House complex, since there’s been a number of incidents at state capitols and governor’s mansions around the country.

“It is somewhat fitting that we are addressing this shameful attack on our democracy from this historic State House—the very first peacetime capital of the United States.

“After all, it was right here that the peaceful transition of power was born. 236 years ago, after leading the colonies to victory in the Revolutionary War, General Washington resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army, right here, right there, in our old Senate Chamber.

“At the time, the idea that a military leader would voluntarily transfer power to the people’s representatives was virtually unthinkable and without precedent in human history. 

“But this selfless act secured our nation’s future as a democratic republic and as the leader of the free world. 

“Generations of Americans have sacrificed their lives, their fortunes, and sacred honor, so that the miracle of self-government and the orderly transition of power could become commonplace. 

“Over the last two months, this sacred tradition has come under attack from our own president, who has chosen to fan the flames of hate and mislead millions of voters through lies and conspiracy theories rather than face the reality of his own defeat. 

“I grew up in the shadow of the United States Capitol. I proudly stood by my father’s side at age 12 on the floor of the House Chamber as we both took the oath of office—an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

“It’s clear to me that President Trump has abandoned this sacred oath. What we saw in the nation’s Capitol was not just an attack on people’s representatives, or historic buildings, and our law enforcement. It was an attack on the rule of law, the foundations of self-government, and who we are as Americans.

“The mob may have shattered glass, but they did not and they will not shatter our democracy. 

“From governors and secretaries of state, and the judiciary and the Congress, our institutions have held firm in the face of this attempted insurrection, but we remain at a fragile moment, and each of us—especially those who hold elective office—have a choice to make. 

“We can show those who feel forgotten that we actually can deliver solutions to the serious problems that face us, or we can continue to perpetuate this toxic politics, rabid tribalism, and hatred.

“We can either face the truth or be destroyed by lies. We can either descend into chaos and rancor, or we can rise above and meet this test with real courage and patriotism.

“I could never fathom a day like yesterday in America, but I will not stand for it and neither should any American. I think I speak for many Americans when I say: enough is enough. Enough of the lies, enough of the hate, enough of the total dysfunction. Just enough.

“And I promise to do everything in my power to rebuild trust in what makes this nation great, to heal old wounds rather than inflame them, and to make sure that democracy—that the people—always prevail.

“May God bless the great State of Maryland, and the United States of America.”