Trump issues emergency declaration for Washington DC

(Bloomberg) – US president Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for the District of Columbia with the approach of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and in the wake of the assault on the US Capitol last week.

Trump, according to a statement released by the White House on Monday night (Tuesday in Malaysia), authorises the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “identify, mobilise, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had asked Trump to declare a “pre-emergency disaster” and for the Homeland Security to establish a “security and federal force deployment plan.”

Earlier on Monday, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, resigned. He is to be replaced by Pete Gaynor, the administrator of FEMA. The White House statement did not mention Gaynor’s new role.

Meanwhile, the state of Maryland expects to add “several hundred more” troops to its National Guard force helping to protect the US Capitol in neighbouring Washington, DC, Governor Larry Hogan says. The state already has sent 500 Guard members to Washington, the Republican governor added.

Hogan, who was stymied in efforts to send troops to help during last week’s attack on the Capitol, said he will be speaking with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the FBI.

Without giving specifics, Hogan said the state government is taking additional security measures at the state house complex in Annapolis.

Officials are dealing with “tons of security issues” in state and in US capital, he said at a briefing.