Pa., N.J., Del. to send National Guard troops to D.C. after Capitol breach

Pro-Trump insurrectionists try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Pro-Trump insurrectionists try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are sending National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., in the wake of a deadly insurrection by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday announced that New Jersey will send 500 National Guard troops to the nation’s capital to aid law enforcement there and ensure a “peaceful transition” of presidential power.

Murphy’s counterpart in Delaware, Gov. John Carney, announced the state would similarly deploy members of its National Guard to support ongoing security efforts. The number of troops was not immediately disclosed.

“Congress has a constitutional responsibility to uphold the will of the American people and approve the election of a President,” Carney said in a tweet on Wednesday. “The lawless mob at the Capitol today attempted to violently interfere in that constitutional process. Their actions were a disgrace and an affront to our democracy.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf joined the governors in offering National Guard support later Thursday afternoon.

Approximately 1,000 Pennsylvania National Guard troops have been activated, the governor said, to support D.C. law enforcement through the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

Wolf called Wednesday’s events “disturbing” and “cause for ongoing concern,” adding that Pennsylvania is prepared to assist as needed in securing a peaceful transfer of power.

The trio of governors’ statements came after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building, sending lawmakers into hiding and prompting violent clashes with law enforcement. A woman was fatally shot by police. Three others died in medical emergencies.

On Wednesday evening, New Jersey sent 74 New Jersey State Police troopers to D.C. to aid in the law enforcement effort, and Murphy said they were still there on Thursday.

Speaking during an unrelated press conference Thursday morning, Murphy called the mob attack an act of “domestic terrorism” spurred on by Trump.

“The president’s refusal to accept the reality that he lost an election created this,” Murphy said. “His years of lies and willful misinformation created this. His belief that the laws don’t apply to him created this. His spewing of unfounded conspiracy theories created this.”

Murphy said that every insurrectionist who tried to overthrow the free and fair election “should be identified, arrested, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

“They are not patriots,” he added. “They are the antithesis of what it means to be an American.”

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