Illinois sending 200 National Guard members to Washington, D.C., in advance of inauguration

“In the wake of the recent incident at the Capitol, ensuring a peaceful transfer of power to the Biden administration is of the utmost importance,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

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Members of the Illinois National Guard keep watch and direct traffic at their post outside McCormick Place near East 24th Place and South King Drive, Wednesday afternoon, June 3, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

After a pro-Trump mob attempted a coup at the United States Capitol last week, state officials announced Tuesday that nearly 200 members of the Illinois National Guard will be sent to Washington, D.C., in an effort to help keep the peace during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

“In the wake of the recent incident at the Capitol, ensuring a peaceful transfer of power to the Biden administration is of the utmost importance,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

Hordes of people stormed the Capitol building following a rally near the Washington Monument in which President Donald Trump, for the umpteenth time, questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

In the ensuing mayhem, a crowd gained access to the Capitol, prompting a lockdown. Violent outbursts left five people dead, including a police officer. Several of the rioters have already been charged with federal crimes for their alleged involvement.

Meanwhile, the FBI is warning of armed protests planned at state capitals across the country in the lead-up to Biden’s inauguration.

“Supporting the presidential inauguration is a great opportunity for the Illinois National Guard to be part of history and represent the state of Illinois,” Maj. Gen. Richard Neely, commander of the Illinois National Guard, said in a statement.

Members of the Illinois National Guard were also deployed to Washington, D.C., in January 2017 to help ensure security during Trump’s inauguration.

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