President Donald Trump on Monday declared a state of emergency in Washington, D.C., citing the “emergency conditions” surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had declared a state of emergency in the city on Wednesday in the aftermath of the takeover of the Capitol by rioters incited by Trump. Reports of further planned violent demonstrations have continued to circulate ahead of Inauguration Day, and Trump’s order on Monday allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist the city in any emergency response.
Details of the violent Capitol attack have become increasingly clear in the days since a mob broke into the building, and Democrats and Republicans alike expressed concern about a similar security breach on or leading up to Jan. 20. By the weekend after the Capitol Hill attack, five people had died in connection to the riots.
Bowser had written to acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on Sunday, urging the administration to recognize a pre-disaster declaration in the city in preparation for Inauguration Day. She had also requested in her letter to extend the U.S. Secret Service’s National Special Security Event for the inauguration from Jan. 11 through Jan. 24 instead of the previously planned Jan. 19-21. DHS announced on Monday that it was expanding the period to begin Jan. 13.
Wolf announced he was stepping down from his position shortly before Trump’s declaration on Monday, citing ongoing problems surrounding his appointment. An administration official said that he was also motivated to step down after the Capitol Hill attack. Wolf had issued a statement the day after the attack urging Trump to condemn the violence. “Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official goes against who we are as Americans,” it read.
Wolf had intended to stay in his position through the end of the administration to ensure a safe transition to Biden’s team, but he wrote on Monday that he felt confident the transfer would go smoothly.
When asked by reporters Monday whether Biden was scared of taking his oath of office outdoors in light of the recent violence, Biden responded, “No, I am not.”