March 2, 2021

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Live updates: Pre-Inauguration Day armed protest threat has states on high alert; house arrest denied for man in Pelosi desk photo – USA TODAY

5 min read

Washington, D.C., and all 50 states are preparing for what could be could be violent protests this weekend ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Just 10 days ago, violent rioters breached the U.S. Capitol, raising questions about law enforcement’s preparation and response. As chatter grows about the potential for armed protests in state capitols on Sunday, many states have activated National Guard troops. In D.C., the Capitol is heavily fortified and thousands of National Guard members are in place. The National Mall is closed. Keep refreshing this page for updates on security and protests from across the US.

Man in Pelosi desk photo barred from using Internet; house arrest denied

A federal judge in Washington on Friday night halted a plan to release and put on house arrest the Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Richard Barnett will instead be brought to Washington, D.C., immediately for proceedings in his case, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Friday night, staying a decision by another judge to confine Barnett to his home in Gravette, Arkansas, until his trial.

Howell’s ruling came hours after U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann in Arkansas set a $5,000 bond for Barnett and ordered that a GPS monitor track his location. Wiedemann also prohibited Barnett from using the internet or having contact with anyone else who participated in the Jan. 6 violence.

Who has been arrested:USA TODAY is tracking charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

State Capitols: What security measures are in place?

►The Texas Department of Public Safety announced the closure of the state Capitol on Friday after uncovering new intelligence that prompted the agency to further tighten up security.

► The Kentucky Capitol grounds in Frankfort will be closed on Sunday after “domestic terror threats against state capitols all over” the U.S., Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration announced Friday.

Michigan, which was targeted by armed anti-lockdown protesters earlier this year and an alleged extremist plot to kidnap its governor, activated its National Guard and was boarding up windows at state buildings Friday.

► California Gov. Gavin Newsom mobilized 1,000 members of the National Guard as the state also erected a temporary chain link fence around its Capitol. The California Highway Patrol has refused to issue permits for rallies that had been planned there.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard on Friday. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered the state’s guard to prepare for potential activity. About 450 National Guard members in Pennsylvania will be among law enforcement at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Gov. Tom Wolf said.

New Jersey state employees have been ordered to work remotely the day of Biden’s inauguration, because of the “level of tension in the country,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday.

►The Kansas Statehouse will beef up security measures, closing down visitor access to parking, giving keycard access only through the visitor entrance and requiring those with keycard access to show badges. In Ohio, several “several hundred” officers will be in the Capitol Square area Sunday.

Go in-depth: Why the National Guard’s absence at Capitol riots shows lack of preparation, distrust after heavy-handed BLM response.

National Mall closed through Jan. 21

Amid anticipation of possible violence over the weekend and at the presidential inauguration, The National Mall will be closed from 11 a.m. Friday through Jan. 21, the National Park Service announced Friday.

While activities tied to the presidential inauguration and free speech events with permits will be allowed to continue in specified areas, the Park Service said, large swaths of the Mall will be closed.

The area stretches over 2 miles from the Lincoln Memorial on the west end to the U.S. Capitol on the east. The Park Service said areas near the U.S. Navy Memorial and John Marshall Park, off the main stretch of the Mall, will be designated locations for existing permit holders.

Washington Monument:Closed until after Joe Biden’s inauguration in wake of Capitol riots

Arizona man who stormed Capitol in fur horn hat ordered to DC for trial

The Phoenix man who stormed the U.S. Capitol in a fur hat with horns and carrying a spear goaded rioters to ignore police commands and continue to press on into the U.S. Senate chamber, where he left a threatening note for Vice President Mike Pence, prosecutors say.

In a hearing Friday in federal court in Phoenix, a judge ordered Jake Angeli remain in custody, as he has been all week, and to be transported to face charges in Washington, D.C. 

Prosecutors argue that Chansley must be detained due to his past criminal record and belief in harmful conspiracies like QAnon, as well as his belief that he is an alien, which may indicate “serious risks that he will flee and obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice.”

– Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic

Kentucky man, cousin face federal charges

Robert L. Bauer and his cousin, Edward Hemenway of Winchester, Virginia, pleaded not guilty to trespassing and knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds. They appeared in federal court Friday.

According to the complaint, the FBI received an anonymous tip that Robert “Bobby” Bauer and his wife, Jenny, were at the Capital riots. In separate interviews with the FBI, they both said they walked down Pennsylvania Avenue with a crowd of people from the rally. 

When they arrived at the Capitol grounds, Bauer’s wife refused to go in and went back to the hotel room, while Bauer and Hemenway went inside, according to the complaint. She hasn’t been charged.

Bauer and Hemenway told the FBI after rushing into the building with the crowd, one Capitol Police officer greeted them with a hug and handshake and told them, “It’s your house now,” according to the complaint.

– Kala Kachmar, Louisville Courier Journal

Officials: Extremist threat to Minnesota Capitol has faded

Authorities now believe there is no credible, immediate threat from extremists to Minnesota in the runup to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Friday, but he made clear that law enforcement won’t be taking any chances.

The FBI this week warned of potential attacks at state capitols nationwide following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. That followed a bulletin from the FBI Minneapolis field office late last month about potential threats from the right-wing Boogaloo movement to the Minnesota and Michigan capitols this Sunday.

The warnings and the violence in Washington, D.C., led Gov. Tim Walz to call up the Minnesota National Guard to bolster state and local law enforcement at and near the state Capitol for this weekend and through Wednesday’s inaugural.

More coverage and stories from USA TODAY

Did rioters have help from members of Congress?: Democrats call for formal investigations, citing an unusual uptick in visitors in MAGA gear before the attempted coup.

As the inauguration nears for President-elect Biden, security officials are confronting a daunting challenge laid bare by the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

► Armed ‘militias’ are illegal. Will authorities finally crack down?

► Fact check: What’s true about the Capitol riot, from antifa to BLM to Chuck Norris

Contributing: Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY; Associated Press

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