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DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has called for a “pre-disaster declaration” for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in order to increase security following the deadly US Capitol riots.
“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 in a letter Saturday to Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.
Bowser — who did not request federal law enforcement backup ahead of the Capitol Hill mayhem — also asked for a “pre-disaster declaration” for the inauguration amid “new threats from insurgent acts of domestic terrorists.”
“This declaration will enhance and direct federal assistance needed to prepare for the Inauguration,” wrote Bowser.
Bowser is facing criticism for the district’s lack of preparedness ahead of the invasion on Capitol Hill that killed five people.
The Democrat defended a Jan. 5 letter that declined additional federal law enforcement before Wednesday’s riots, saying that the district “already requested federal support and it was granted in the form of the DC national guard.”
“That letter called attention to the federal government for other federal policing agencies, and asked the federal government to coordinate with us if they were going to be on DC streets,” she told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
DC does not have jurisdiction over the Capitol or other federal property within its borders.
In her letter Saturday to Wolf, Bowser asked for the Defense and Justice departments, Congress and the Supreme Court to coordinate a security plan.
“Consistent with established protocols and practices, it is the primary responsibility of the federal government to secure federal property in these situations,” she wrote.
The district has also already requested the assistance of 3,000 officers from departments across the country for the inauguration, law enforcement sources told The Post.
The NYPD is also dispatching 200 of its own to members help police the area for the swearing-in festivities, which have already been scaled down due to the pandemic.
With Post wires