Government leaders and law enforcement announced new investigations on Friday into the security failures that led to the assault on the Capitol last week, showing how the pressure to secure Washington and other American cities is increasing amid growing threats of violent right-wing unrest ahead of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration next week.
Capitol Police said they had opened an investigation into whether members of Congress inappropriately gave visitors access to the Capitol ahead of the storming of the building, after several lawmakers raised concerns that their own colleagues might have allowed members of a pro-Trump mob inside in the days leading up to the assault.
The new inquiry came to light as Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Friday that she had named Russel L. Honoré, a retired Army lieutenant general, to lead a security review of the Capitol in the wake of the riot.
And inspectors general from a range of federal agencies are opening a coordinated investigation into why the federal government was caught flat-footed during the siege on Jan. 6 and to come up with protocols to prevent such failures in the future.
States around the country are also on high alert. At least 19 states had activated National Guard members to help with security at their Capitol buildings as of Saturday morning, said Wayne V. Hall, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va. Several are also planning to close their Capitol grounds at different points in the coming days.
In Washington, the National Park Service announced that the National Mall would be closed for a week. Thousands of National Guard members continue to flood into the city, blocking streets and installing perimeters intended to safeguard next week’s ceremonies.
As the Biden administration prepares to take leadership of a nation in turmoil, Vice President Mike Pence telephoned Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Thursday to congratulate her and offer his belated assistance, according to two officials briefed on the call, which was described as gracious and pleasant. It is another instance of Mr. Pence filling a leadership role that President Trump has all but abdicated.
Mr. Pence will also be stepping in for the president on the day of Mr. Biden’s inauguration — although it is traditional for the outgoing and incoming first families to meet at the White House on the morning of the inauguration, Mr. Trump has said he will not meet with Mr. Biden nor will he attend the swearing- in ceremony.
He is instead planning to take off from Joint Base Andrews before Mr. Biden’s inauguration, in a relatively low-key conclusion to one of the most tumultuous terms of any president in history. But Mr. Trump does hope to depart to the blare of a military band, with a red carpet and military honors, those briefed on the planning said.
As Mr. Trump plans his departure, in the wake of a second impeachment, Ms. Pelosi declined to provide an official timeline for his Senate trial. The case is likely to advance even if Mr. Trump has already left office, with Democrats and some Republicans aiming to prevent him from holding public office again.
Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting.
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