2 National Guard Members Removed From Inauguration Duties Due To Ties With Right-Wing Militias, 10 More Also Removed
At least a dozen Army National Guard members have been removed from their duties at President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration, as a result of the FBI vetting all 25,000 National Guard members responsible for securing the event.
Although no plot against Biden was found, the move reflects heightened security concerns following the pro-Trump storming of the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Two National Guard members were found to have ties to fringe right-wing militias during the inauguration security vetting process.
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said two of the Guard members made an “inappropriate” text and comment, while the other 10 had engaged in questionable behavior unrelated to political extremism.
Hoffman added that one of the Guardsmen flagged for political behavior was reported through the chain of command, while the other was reported through an anonymous tip line. The other 10 who were removed were picked out in the FBI’s vetting.
“If there’s any identification, or anything whatsoever that needs to be looked into, out of an abundance of caution we automatically pull those personnel off the line, and make sure that they’re not part of the mission set,” Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, said at a news conference. “And in certain cases we make sure that we get them sent home.”
The removed Guard members have been sent back to their home state and will face further investigation later on.