Trump Declared State of Emergency to Protect Inauguration

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"President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office" (public domain) by The White House

On Monday, President Trump approved a state of emergency in Washington in an effort to prevent violent protests in Joe Biden’s inauguration. The state of emergency approved by the President will order federal assistance to aid local officials in case violent demonstrations happen in the city and all over the country in the coming days. 

The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is set to be held on January 20. However, reports are circulating that protests in relation to this event could begin as early as January 16 in Washington, D.C.

In response to this, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to President Trump on Sunday, requesting him to declare an emergency order. 

The National Park Service (NPS) also ordered the Washington Monument to be closed until January 25, after allegedly receiving “credible threats” after the riot that happened last week inside the U.S. Capitol. Other than Washington Monument, other memorials in different parts of the country may be closed as well.

According to ABC News reports, the FBI says that far-right extremists are urging Trump supporters to “storm” the U.S. Capitol and conduct “armed protests” in all 50 state capitols. 

ABC reported, “‘The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on January 16,’ the bulletin read. ‘They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur,'”

President Trump’s approval of emergency order in Washington D.C. authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance for emergency action.

According to the declaration that was released by the White House on Monday, FEMA is expressly given the authority to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. The declaration also stated, “emergency protective measures, limited to direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 100 percent Federal funding.”

The emergency order that was approved on Monday went into effect immediately and will last until January 24. 

Meanwhile, social media has been filled with claims that more civil unrest is being planned. The Daily Mail reported that on Monday night, the newly seated chiefs of the U.S. Capitol Police told the House Democrats that “they were looking into three separate plans, including one described as ‘the largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil,'”

On the other hand, the FBI said that they are still investigating all reports, FBI in a statement to Fox News said, “our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity.” They added, “as we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights.”

In the previous week, organizers of Joe Biden’s inauguration already announced that the inaugural parade had been canceled in an effort to limit the crowds that will attend the ceremony. Furthermore, gatherings are also severely restricted in Washington, D.C.

Instead of the usual inaugural parade and ceremony, the inaugural committee advises Americans not to travel to Washington D.C. anymore for the event. The committee is also calling Biden’s supporters to conduct smaller celebrations all over the country. These decisions were settled after debate by the Biden’s organizers as they decided to call the inaugural parade off.

On the other hand, President-elect Joe Biden said that he is still planning to report to the Capitol and be sworn in on January 20 at noon. He told reporters in Delaware, “I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside.”