Governors Ron DeSantis, Chris Sununu and Greg Abbott announced that they are bringing their National Guard troops back from Washington, D.C., after reports they were posted up in a parking garage near the Capitol to rest during their shifts, a move that caused outrage at the treatment of the service members.
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) ordered the troops to move their rest area during their 12-hour shifts from inside the Capitol to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center parking garage, the National Guard said today.
But Acting USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman pushed back on that assertion in a statement.
“I want to assure everyone that, with the exception of specific times on Inauguration Day itself while the swearing-in ceremonies were underway, the United States Capitol police did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities,” Pittman said. “And on Inauguration Day, the Guard was notified and encouraged to reoccupy the spaces in the Capitol and CVC at 2 p.m.”
Pittman continued: “It was brought to our attention early today that facility management with the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Office Building reached out directly to the National Guard to offer use of its facilities.”
Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., seemed to make sense of the competing narratives today.
“There was one uniformed police officer who issued an order without authority or without going through the chain of comment and I’m glad the Capitol Police and the Guard are talking and trying to figure this out,” Inhofe said. “We are going to be able to identify who that person was.”
The location for troops’ rest breaks was changed back early today, with troops now authorized by the U.S. Capitol Police Watch Commander to take their breaks near Emancipation Hall.
Some of the troops assigned came from Tennessee. Governor Bill Lee said it is time to welcome our National Guard soldiers and airmen home after their mission in DC. “I am very disappointed in the way this mission came to a close and the overall treatment of the National Guard in DC. Tennesseans are proud of our men and women in uniform,” said Governor Lee.