Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said her team is “extremely concerned” about security ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 in the wake of violence at the U.S. Capitol in a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
Bowser on Saturday requested the Department of Homeland Security “adjust its approach to the Inauguration,” including by extending the National Security Special Event so that it lasts from Jan. 11-24 (the current period is Jan. 19-21).
Bowser is also requesting a pre-disaster declaration under the Stafford Act for the Inauguration, and Boswer asked the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with other departments, including the Justice Department.
“We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser wrote.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., echoed her concerns in a statement following his conversation with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Saturday.
“The threat of violent extremist groups remains high and the next few weeks are critical in our democratic process with the upcoming inauguration at the U.S. Capitol to swear in President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Schumer said.
“Given that the same incendiary, dangerous rhetoric online that occurred before Jan. 6, which proved to be a warning of the insurrectionist attack, has only escalated since, I impressed upon Director Wray the vitalness of the FBI to work with other federal and state agencies to remain highly proactive and extremely vigilant to defend our democracy,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told ABC “This Week” that Capitol Police had “potentially compromised elements” and demanded an investigation of what went wrong on Jan. 6.
“We need to review what actually happened on Wednesday, the National Guard was requested by the D.C. Council and was rejected,” she said on Sunday. “We are talking about and we are hearing about a complete and utter lack of preparation.”
“The chief of the D.C. Capitol Police lied to House Administration chairwoman Zoe Lofgren about the preparations of what happened,” she continued. “We need to know what happened and how deep this goes. And if we do not and if we do not take corrective action right now, we are talking about those same potentially compromised elements being in charge of the president’s security during the inauguration.”
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced his resignation Thursday, a day after protesters breached the Capitol, overran his officers and prompted condemnations from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington, including a call for him to step down from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. His last day was Friday.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.