Both Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office asked for the National Guard to tamp down the insurrection at the Capitol, two sources told NBC. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the National Guard was “on the way along with other federal protective services” on Wednesday afternoon.Their calls were being considered by the Department of Defense when Trump ordered the Guard to protect the Capitol and surrounding areas.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also said he would send his state’s National Guard along with 200 state troopers to the Capitol. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan added that he told the Maryland National Guard to send a force to the federal legislature.
Meanwhile, An explosive device was found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Washington and the nearby headquarters of the Democratic National Committee was evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package on Wednesday, according to three people briefed on the discoveries.
The device that was found at the R.N.C. was a pipe bomb that was successfully destroyed by a bomb squad, according to an official for the R.N.C.
The package at the D.N.C. has yet to be identified, according to a top Democrat briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.
The R.N.C. and D.N.C. are headquartered just a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol, which Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed on Wednesday afternoon soon as Congress had gathered to certify President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory and shortly after the president addressed the crowd near the White House.
As a mob breached the Capitol, Vice President Mike Pence was rushed from the Senate chamber and the building was placed on lockdown. Shortly after, Mr. Trump tweeted that Mr. Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” because he did not try to reject the electors.
The National Guard for Washington and Virginia was activated Wednesday afternoon to respond to the unrest.