Yesterday marked the first day that the National Mall has shut down ahead of Biden’s planned inauguration. The National Park Service justified the closures as being in response to the January 6th breach of the Capitol and at the request of the Secret Service.
In a statement, Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt said, “The unprecedented nature of the recent civil unrest at the U.S. Capitol coupled with the real and substantial threat of violence and unlawful behavior poses an unprecedented public safety and security challenge.”
The closing of the National Mall during the inauguration goes against historical precedent, where citizens gather at the steps of the Capitol to witness the swearing-in of a new President.
In addition to the closing of the mall, an estimated 20,000 armed troops will be occupying the Capitol in an effort to guard and secure the Capitol. The presence of troops is also in response to the Jan 6th breach and the potential for a second breach.
Christopher Wray, FBI Director stated, “We’re concerned about the potential for violence at multiple protests and rallies.”