National Guard troops that have been deployed to the U.S. Capitol for the past four months will leave on Sunday, according to the man in charge of conducting a review of Capitol security after the Jan. 6 insurgency.
Retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré said the National Guard will leave Capitol grounds on Sunday – 137 days after the uprising – because they have fulfilled their mission to secure the Capitol, in an interview with “Face the Nation” the CBS network.
Still, Honoré said the area surrounding the Capitol will not be able to open immediately due to ongoing tension over U.S. Capitol police resources.
“Well, I’ll tell you what. If not, they have arrived at this magical date and are going home. And the Capitol is safe, based on the mission of the Capitol Police now, which is the safe Capitol, ”said Honoré when asked if now is the right day for troops to leave the field.
“One of the missions that they will probably not be able to carry out according to the designations of the two houses and all the parts is the open campus. They will not be able to return immediately to an open campus where people can openly visit the Capitol due to pressure from the Capitol Police, their number is less than 230. And that was from the date we completed our report “.
Honoré stressed the urgency for the Senate to approve the $ 1.9 billion security supplement approved by the House last week. He noted in particular that while $ 1.9 billion may seem like a high price, $ 700 million of the funds is earmarked for “paying bills,” including coverage for expenses to have the National Guard for so long on the site.
Honoré also advocated funding of $ 200 million in the supplement for a rapid response force to help Capitol police forces, when needed, a provision opposed by some Republicans.
“There is talk of using the regional police for this mission,” he said, adding that while this security method could work for pre-scheduled events, “I don’t think it works with a threat of terrorism. domestic at three o’clock “. In the morning.”
When asked to respond to the falsehoods of Republican lawmakers who say the Jan. 6 attack was not a violent riot, Honoré criticized the Republican party and reaffirmed the danger faced by law enforcement officials. ‘order.
“They had to face a dangerous and violent crowd that fought them and tried to kill them,” he said. “What scares me, John, is when I hear statements like that, it’s that we have a two-party system that’s usually called a minority party, the opposition, and that scares me. They’ve gone from being a minority party to a party. of opposition ”.