But with fewer than four days left in the Trump presidency, the nation remains on high alert.
The National Guard presence in Washington is a stronger military footprint than the US has in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria combined. But Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen said Saturday the added security was “definitely necessary and warranted.”
“Closing down the National Mall, closing down the Washington Metro system, Airbnb canceling reservations, the actions you just reported about the post office — this is as if we were under attack from a foreign enemy,” Van Hollen told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“What’s so sad about it is that it’s an attack on our democracy from within, instigated by the President of the United States,” the Maryland Democrat said. “These are the kinds of forces you would normally see protecting us from an external enemy, and yet here we are, trying to protect ourselves from a violent mob — and people who have been lied to; people who believe the President when he says he was cheated out of an election. We are going to have to come to grips with this.”
Many state capitols are also ramping up security to avoid being caught flat-footed as US Capitol Police were on January 6. With the FBI warning last week that “armed protests” are being planned in all 50 states, Michigan State Police, for example, have mobilized personnel from across the state to secure the state Capitol in Lansing in coordination with the FBI and the National Guard.