Trump Declares State of Emergency in Washington, D.C. Ahead of Biden's Inauguration

Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in the District of Columbia on Monday.

His announcement comes ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20. 

Federal assistance has been ordered to the District beginning Monday and continuing through January 24, enabling FEMA to "coordinate all disaster relief efforts" with the purpose of "alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population" and provide assistance in any emergencies that arise. 

As Biden's inauguration day gets closer, authorities in Washington, D.C., are preparing for marches and more potential violence after the failed insurrection attempt on Wednesday that left five people dead. 

Officials are concerned that there will be more riots when Biden is sworn in as president as right-wing extremists continue calls for violence. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is encouraging Americans to stay home on January 20 in an effort "to protect the District of Columbia from a repeat of the violent insurrection experienced at the Capitol and its grounds on Jan. 6."

Bowser also asked Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to increase security preparations. 

The U.S. Secret Service said in a statement Monday that "for well over a year," the agency has been "working tirelessly to anticipate and prepare for all possible contingencies at every level to ensure a safe and secure Inauguration Day."

"The safety and security of all those participating in the 59th Presidential Inauguration is of the utmost importance," the Secret Service said.

The inauguration was already set to be mostly virtual due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with tickets limited to members of Congress and one guest each, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Biden said Monday that despite security concerns, he is "not afraid of taking the oath outside."

"I think it's critically important that there be a real serious focus on holding those folks who engaged in sedition and threatened people's lives, defaced public property, caused great damage, that they be held accountable," he told reporters in Newark, Delaware, after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The state of emergency declaration comes on the same day that House Democrats formally introduced one article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" following the attempted coup on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters. 

The resolution is expected to be voted on later this week. 

Trump was previously impeached by the House in 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with his Ukraine scandal.

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