Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller confirmed in a statement released by the Department of Defense that the FBI is conducting background checks on the National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C. to prevent any insider attacks.
The heavy military presence, over 25,000 National Guardsmen, comes after some Trump supporters, who attended the pro-Trump march on January 6, rioted at the Capitol building when Congress was certifying the election results.
"As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, DC. While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the Capitol," Miller said, adding, "We appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their Nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the National Capital Region."
“This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case the scope of military participation is unique.”— Department of Defense ???? (@DeptofDefense) January 18, 2021
“We appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their Nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the NCR.”— Department of Defense ???? (@DeptofDefense) January 18, 2021
In an interview with CNN on Monday, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said he was worried about the high number of Trump supporters within the National Guard who are now in the nation's capital.
"You know, I think the Guard is 90 some odd percent I believe male, only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden. You gotta figure that the guard which is predominantly more conservative and I see that on my social media, and we know it, there are probably not more than 25 percent of the people there protecting us that voted for Biden, the other 75 percent are in the class that would be the large class of folks who might want to do something and there were military people and police who took oaths to defend the Constitution and to protect and defend who didn’t do it, who were in the insurrection," Cohen said.