The Capitol looked a lot different Wednesday morning than it did a week earlier. As reporters arrived ahead of a House impeachment vote, they were met by hundreds of National Guard troops lined up in the Congressional Visitor Center, with some sleeping in nearby hallways. For CNN political reporter Rebecca Buck, the scene resembled the quartering of Union soldiers in the Capitol during the Civil War more than 150 years ago. "Many are cuddling their firearms, fatigues over their heads to block light, and riot gear in neat piles," tweeted reporter Nathaniel Reed, per the Week. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that troops assisting Capitol security ahead of Inauguration Day would be armed.
A rep for the DC National Guard says federal authorities made the request, which was approved by Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, reports CNN. National Guard members have been arriving in Washington since last week's riot, and about 15,000 will be available in the lead-up to Joe Biden's inauguration amid a range of credible threats. Following claims that last week's rioters may have been assisted in accessing the Capitol, all members are being trained to report inappropriate behavior. Any activity that "involves violence, civil disobedience, or a breach of peace" may be punishable under state, federal, or military rules, according to an Army rep. (Read more U.S. Capitol stories.)