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National Guard on hand as House opens impeachment proceedings

Members of the National Guard rested in the US Capitol Visitors Center on Wednesday.
Members of the National Guard rested in the US Capitol Visitors Center on Wednesday.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

As the House opens its impeachment hearing, the District of Columbia National Guard says it has been authorized to arm troops assigned to security duty on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

The Guard said in a statement that the authority was requested by federal authorities and approved by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as of approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Up to 15,000 Guard members are expected to be on duty in coming days in the district to support law enforcement in connection with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Authorities are concerned about threats of violence, following the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

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Members of the National Guard rested in the US Capitol.
Members of the National Guard rested in the US Capitol.Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
Weapons were distributed to members of the National Guard outside the US Capitol.
Weapons were distributed to members of the National Guard outside the US Capitol.Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) lead a tour for a group of Virginia National Guard troops through Statuary Hall at the US Capitol.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) lead a tour for a group of Virginia National Guard troops through Statuary Hall at the US Capitol.T.J. Kirkpatrick/NYT
Members of the National Guard ascended a staircase at the US Capitol.
Members of the National Guard ascended a staircase at the US Capitol.Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg
Members of the National Guard walked outside of the US Capitol.
Members of the National Guard walked outside of the US Capitol.Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, walked past members of the National Guard as he arrived at the US Capitol.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, walked past members of the National Guard as he arrived at the US Capitol.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Members of the National Guard walked through the Rotunda of the US Capitol.
Members of the National Guard walked through the Rotunda of the US Capitol.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Weapons were distributed to members of the National Guard outside the US Capitol.
Weapons were distributed to members of the National Guard outside the US Capitol.Stefani Reynolds/Getty
Members of the National Guard rested in the Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill.
Members of the National Guard rested in the Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images