By: Devika Kandelwal
February 8 2021
Democrats did not force the National Guard troops out of the US Capitol, and governors did not order their troops to come home.
Democrats did not force the National Guard troops out of the US Capitol, and governors did not order their troops to come home. According to a personal blog post by Don Suber titled "Governors pull the plug on Biden's show of force," governors from several states including Texas called their National Guard troops home "after Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the rest of Congress evicted them from the Capitol they were brought in to protect from imaginary terrorists". Firstly, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) did not command his troops to come back at all; he tweeted that he would never send his troops again, not because they were evicted from the Capitol, but because the Department of Defense, assisted by the FBI, was vetting members of the National Guard assigned to provide security during President Joe Biden's inauguration and he found that disrespectful. Secondly, he was only the governor to make such a statement. And thirdly, while it is true that National Guard troops were asked to leave the US Capitol and they had to sleep in a garage, but Pelosi, Biden, or Schumer did not take this decision. In his blog post, Suber is referring to the events that took place in early January but has used unrelated incidents to present a misleading picture. National Guard troops came into Washington DC in the wake of the US Capitol storming and stayed back in Washington for a little while longer to cover the inauguration. The Washington Post reported that two soldiers, on the condition of anonymity, told them that "hundreds of National Guard members were forced out of a US Capitol cafeteria and into a parking garage nearby, putting them in close quarters with moving cars, exhaust fumes, and troops potentially infected with the coronavirus". Politico was the first one to report on this news. Initially, the guards were using the cafeteria as a place to rest, but they were abruptly asked to move to the garage without any explanation. The parking garage did not have any internet reception, just one electrical outlet, and one bathroom with two stalls for 5,000 troops, reported Politico. Officials with the DC. National Guard said soldiers who finish their duty have hotel rooms where they can stay. But soldiers could not easily return to them as they conduct shifts on and off for a few hours over a day or two at a time. Subsequently, CNN reported that "members of the National Guard had been allowed back into the Capitol Complex after a slate of lawmakers voiced their outrage at guardsmen being banished to a parking garage as a rest area". There has been confusion around who ordered the soldiers to leave the building, but no reports suggest that Pelosi, Biden, or Schumer were responsible for this. Capt. Edwin Nieves Jr., a DC. National Guard spokesman said that they were asked to vacate the premises because the Congress was in session and there was increased foot traffic, and business was being conducted. However, acting US Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman insisted that the Capitol Police "did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities," with the "exception of specific times" on Inauguration Day when the swearing-in ceremonies were underway. CBS News reported that Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican, tried to get to the bottom of the matter and said: “So this is what happened. One uniformed police officer issued an order without authority or going through the chain of command. I’m glad the Capitol Police are trying to figure who it was. We will identify who that person was and make it public.” The Capitol Police said they were looking into the matter. Therefore, from the evidence listed above, we conclude that Suber took different incidents out of context and tried to mislead people. He also made some entirely false claims in his blog post.