Thousands of National Guard Troops Return to Capitol After Forced Removal; Lawmakers Demand Answers

(YouTube/Fox Business)

Two weeks prior to Wednesday's inauguration of President Joe Biden, thousands of National Guard troops deployed to Washington, D.C., to protect the Capitol after the deadly breach of Jan. 6. But after reports of their mistreatment spurred outrage among lawmakers and other government officials, rapid changes took place.

On Thursday, troops were forced to vacate the Capitol for breaks during their 12-hour shifts and move outdoors or into nearby parking garages, Politico reported. Photos of Guard members sleeping together on the ground quickly went viral along with comments decrying the change. "I've never in my entire career felt like I've been booted onto the curb and told, 'figure it out on your own,'" tweeted one guardsman.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott responded in outrage before ordering those troops to return to their home state.

"As Congress is in session and increased foot traffic and business is being conducted, Capitol Police asked the troops to move their rest area," National Guard spokesperson Maj. Matt Murphy told Politico. "They were temporarily relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage with heat and restroom facilities. We remain an agile and flexible force to provide for the safety and security of the Capitol and its surrounding areas."

Lawmakers' shock and outrage stretched across party lines. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., joined the many lawmakers expressing outrage over the treatment of the servicemen, calling the mistreatment "unreal" and adding, "They can use my office."

And Sen. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., tweeted that he had not only visited the soldiers who had been "abandoned and insulted" but brought them pizza as well.

Howard Altman, editor of The Military Times, reported that Thursday night, troops were being allowed back into the Capitol:

Early Friday, Kris Van Cleave of CBS News confirmed that National Guard troops are out of the garage and will now take their breaks in Emancipation Hall.

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