Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

National Guard troops remaining in D.C. for impeachment trial confused by lack of clearly defined mission

Federal law enforcement officials informed members of Congress last week that as many as 5,000 National Guard troops must remain in Washington, D.C., through mid-March, four people familiar with the matter told Politico. The troops who stay behind will be protecting the Capitol amid what was described as "impeachment security concerns."

The driving force behind the decision is seemingly the possibility of mass demonstrations — perhaps similar to the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — in support of former President Donald Trump coinciding with Trump's Senate impeachment trial, which is set to begin the week of Feb. 8.

While a majority of the troops who stick around will do so voluntarily, the length is still far longer than they initially expected when they arrived in the city on Jan. 6. Some guardsmen — who have civilian jobs and are not full-time soldiers — appear put off by the lack of clarity surrounding the operation (they say they haven't been told of any specific threats) and are wondering why they have to endure combat-like conditions in the nation's capital, per Politico. "There is no defined question, or mission statement," one member told Politico. "This is very unusual for any military mission. We are usually given a situation, with defined mission perimeters, and at least a tentative plan on how to execute those objectives." Read more at Politico.