The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Statehouses see only small protests as FBI screens U.S. troops for possible insider threats

National Guard members, Capitol Police, Humvees and extensive fencing were in place around downtown D.C. on Jan. 16 and 17 ahead of expected protests. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/The Washington Post)
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Only small protests materialized outside statehouses nationwide on Sunday after authorities had braced for violence, boarding up windows, deploying National Guard troops and preemptively declaring states of emergency in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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With officials on high alert days away from President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, U.S. defense officials say the federal government is conducting insider threat screening on the 25,000 National Guard troops who have begun flowing into the nation’s capital to secure the inauguration, as concerns intensify about extremism in the ranks.

Here’s what to know:

  • Armed demonstrators showed up to capitol buildings in Austin; Columbus, Ohio; Lansing, Mich.; Phoenix; and Salem, Ore. But the gatherings were uneventful, with some drawing fewer than a dozen people.
  • Several cities saw armed but peaceful demonstrators, some identifying themselves as part of the fringe anti-government “boogaloo” movement.
  • A 22-year-old Virginia man whose Facebook page features a photo from the storming of the U.S. Capitol was arrested near the Capitol complex Sunday, amid a strict lockdown in that area and much of downtown Washington. D.C. police said the man was carrying three high-capacity magazines, 37 rounds of unregistered ammunition and a Glock 22 firearm.
  • Experts say the threat from extremism inspired by President Trump is likely to persist — and grow.
  • Federal prosecutors have charged a Kentucky man suspected of smashing the glass in a door leading to the House Speaker’s Lobby during the U.S. Capitol breach, moments before and in the same location where rioter Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot.
  • At least four other riot suspects were arrested or charged over the weekend, including two cousins accused of assaulting police and a New Mexico county commissioner who spoke about storming the Capitol.
  • Virginia officials are on edge ahead of a potentially massive gun rights demonstration planned for Monday in Richmond.

Photos: State capitals and D.C. shore up security ahead of inauguration | Video timeline: 41 minutes of fear — inside the Capitol siege | ‘We got to hold this door’: How battered police made a stand against the mob | Sign up for news alerts