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Despite the unlikelihood of a new assault on the Capitol or other threat to public order or institutions, 5,000 U.S. National Guard troops will remain on foot in the capital. However, The Hill ascribes this move to “concerns about followers of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, some of whom are hopeful that former President Trump will return to office on March 4th.”
Democrats persist in pushing their claims of “domestic terrorism” to justify keeping National Guard troops on the capital’s soil, guarding Congress. Democratic Rep. Adam Smith argues that “some of these people [referring to Republican sympathizers] have noticed that apparently 75 years ago, the president used to be inaugurated on March 4th. Well, now why that’s relevant, God knows, anyway, now they’re thinking maybe we should get together again and storm the Capitol.”
According to Smith such plans for a repeat assault “are circulating online.” Evidence of such a conspiracy, however, has not been shown by the representative.
Despite the lack of evidence, Smith said the Guard’s stay in DC is not in response to real threats but to serious “concerns” around the date, according to The Hill.
“Things like this circulate all the time,” Smith noted. “Does it mean it’s going to happen? Probably not, but if you want to help, tell them not to. Tell them the election is over. Joe Biden won,” Smith said. “It was a free and fair election, and let’s get to work. That would also help reduce the, well, I don’t know, the fear or the paranoia that people feel about everything we’re seeing around here.” In other words, basically the National Guard is maintained more by the will of Congress than by real needs in the face of a threat.
The now Chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, asserted that there were “thousands of insurrectionists.” However, those were not the numbers recorded inside the Capitol. The thousands, in reality, were outside at the rally for the 45th President Donald Trump.
An expensive process
The deployment of National Guard soldiers in Washington DC following the assault on the Capitol has cost an estimated $500 million. According to a Washington Post investigation of local, state, and federal records, along with interviews with federal government officials, the costs have been increasing daily as government agencies at all levels “have been forced” to devote public funds to respond to actions taken by supporters of the former president.
Among the costs related to the National Guard are the cost of transporting troops from their home states to Washington, their salaries and benefits, as well as housing and other essentials. While costs will be reduced, the Democrats’ fear will still ultimately weigh on taxpayers’ pockets.
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017