Dozen U.S. National Guard officers removed from Biden inauguration duty over bias for right-wing extremism
London, Jan. 20, 2021 (AltAfrica)-A dozen members of the U.S. National Guard have been removed from duty helping secure the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden after vetting, which included screening for potential ties to right-wing extremism, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday.
A Pentagon spokesman said the vetting went beyond ties to extremist groups.
One Guard member was removed from duty after troubling text messages and another had been reported to a tip line, Army General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters.
Photos of the Day: National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are deputized in front of the U.S. Capitol building in support of the 59th Presidential Inauguration. More: https://t.co/DO3nOUSCfL pic.twitter.com/JgGWZu628V— National Guard (@USNationalGuard) January 19, 2021
“We are, out of an abundance of caution, taking action and immediately removing them from the line of duty at the Capitol and the events taking place,” said Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.
On Sunday, acting Défense Secretary Chris Miller said the FBI was assisting the U.S. military in vetting more than 25,000 Guard troops being deployed to assist in protecting the U.S. Capitol for potential security concerns ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration of Biden.
We don’t have a second to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face as a nation. That’s why after being sworn in tomorrow, I’ll get right to work. https://t.co/QBrS17mle8— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 20, 2021
The vetting has been going on since last week, and the FBI is also working to see if any current service members took part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
Reuters report that last week, the Virginia National Guard said that Jacob Fracker, an off-duty police officer charged in connection with the violent riots at the Capitol, was a corporal in the state’s Guard and serves as an infantryman.