Police, Security Forces Bracing for Trump Impeachment Trial

By Jeff Seldin*

FILE PHOTO: Barbed wire and security fencing surrounds the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 26, 2021. (VOA News)

WASHINGTON – (VOA News)- Security and police forces in and around Washington will be operating at what they describe as “a high-level of readiness” as the impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump gets underway next week, worried the event could serve as a flashpoint for American extremists still angry over the outcome of the presidential election.

Officials have been hesitant to share specifics about the intelligence, some of which has been described as disturbing chatter on social media platforms. But following the siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, which resulted in the deaths of five people, they have been public about not wanting to leave anything to chance.

“We must demonstrate an overt security presence in (Washington) D.C., at least for now,” Christopher Rodriguez, director of the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, told lawmakers during a hearing Thursday.

“We believe that this posture is essential to ensuring that the Metropolitan Police Department can deploy resources to all parts of the city during an emergency,” he said, adding, “We will not tolerate violence in our city.”

National Guard soldiers stand their post on the House side of the U.S. Capitol on  Feb. 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo…

National Guard soldiers stand their post on the House side of the U.S. Capitol, Feb. 1, 2021, in Washington.

And while some of the security measures and roadblocks put in place for the inauguration of President Joe Biden last month have been taken down, so-called enhanced security measures for the Capitol itself — like the barbed-wire fencing — will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

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