On January 19,2021 officials announced that twelve members of the National Guard were been removed and sent home right before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Prior to the ceremony, the FBI announced the vetting of all 25,000 troops stationed in Washington for the Inaugural events. One of the largest concerns at the time was a potential insider attack.
However not all members may have been tied to right wing extremism or white nationalism as previously speculated.
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan R. Hoffman, National Guard Chief Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson and Washington Headquarters Services Director Thomas M. Muir, who leads the Defense Department’s presidential transition team say concerns of those removed may not have necessarily been as direct result of the inaugural events. In a joint press conference the Guardsmen site did not reveal the exact reason, nor what state the Guardsmen were from, but instead say this is part of their normal vetting efforts that may not be tied to recent talks of extremism.
Gen Hokanson said, “I’m not concerned as a large part of our organization. If you look at 25-thousand, we have had 12 identified and some of those they’re just looking into. It may be unrelated to this. But we want to make sure out of an abundance of caution, as I’ve stated earlier, that we do the right thing until that gets cleared up.”