Vice President Mike Pence listens during a briefing about the upcoming presidential inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, at FEMA headquarters, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
UPDATED 9:48 AM PT – Friday, January 15, 2021
The FBI has been tracking potential threats of violence surrounding the presidential inauguration.
While meeting with members from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence said the White House is committed to an orderly transition. He encouraged officials to ensure peace and safety during this time, while highlighting the boost of inauguration security ahead of next weeks ceremony.
“The American people deserve a safe inauguration on January 20 and I encourage you to convey to all of the members of your teams to continue to lean forward to ensure that we achieve just that,” Pence stated.
According to Director Christopher Wray, the FBI has already arrested more than 100 individuals for their criminal activities related to the demonstration on Capitol Hill. The bureau is also working with its partners to evaluate any potential threats and take appropriate action to prevent them from becoming a reality.
“Right now, we’re tracking calls for potential armed protests and activity leading up to the inauguration,” Wray explained. “And the reason I use the word potential is because one of the real challenges in this space is trying to distinguish what’s aspirational versus what’s intentional.”
Currently, over 20,000 National Guard members have been deployed throughout the D.C. area with the National Mall expected to be closed to the public on Inauguration Day.
At the end of his remarks, Wray issued a warning to individuals who intend to bring violence to the nation’s capitol while ordering them to stay clear.
“My advice to people who might be inclined to follow in the footsteps of those who engaged in the kind of activity that we saw last week is stay home, look at what’s happening now to the people who were involved in the capital siege,” he stated. “You don’t want to be the ones that have FBI agents knocking on your door at 6:00 a.m., so anybody who plots or attempts violence in the coming week should count on a visit.”
After the security briefing, Pence made a surprise visit to greet the guardsmen and women who were stationed outside the nations capitol. He thanked them for answering the call of duty.
“Thank you for your service, thank you for stepping forward and just God Bless you in the days ahead,” he stated. “And it’s been my great honor to serve as your Vice President and I want to thank you for your service.”