FILE PHOTO: A security fence, erected in a single overnight effort, surrounds the U.S. Capitol ahead of an expected rally Saturday in support of the January 6 defendants in Washington, DC, U.S., September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request to make 100 National Guard troops available to help protect the Capitol if needed, the Pentagon said on Friday, ahead of a planned rally supporting people charged with taking part in the deadly Jan. 6 riot.
A Pentagon spokesman said the troops would be based out of the D.C. Armory and only used after local, state and federal law enforcement capabilities had been tapped.
“The task force will only be deployed upon request of the Capitol Police to help protect the U.S. Capitol Building and Congressional Office buildings by manning building entry points and verifying credentials of individuals seeking access to the building,” the spokesman said.