Just hours before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the U.S. Army National Guard has pulled two of its members from serving on Jan. 20 due to their newfound links to right-wing groups.
According to a report from the Associated Press published Tuesday (Jan. 19), two National Guard soldiers were found to have ties to right group militias. Due to Defense Department media regulations, the Army and Intelligence sources couldn’t confirm the identity of the two soldiers in question nor could they state the exact groups they had ties to. However, they did confirm that there was no plot against Biden.
The two National Guard soldiers were pulled from the inauguration not long after all 25,000 members of the National Guard were thoroughly vetted by the FBI. Each solder was screened for any and all signs of a potential threat before they were deployed from their respective state.
“It’s all about the background,” he said of the process. “So, a regular background check is enhanced with more screening, more details and it’s layered so the FBI is part of it, the Secret Service is part of it, and once they are certain that there’s no insider threat, then that soldier, guardsman or airman is given a credential.”
The vetting occurred nearly two weeks after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, which sparked riots that claimed the lives of five people including an officer from the Capitol Police. In the days following the insurrection, numerous people have been arrested and charged with entering the Capitol.
The FBI continues to look for more suspects who were captured on video during the riots, especially before the inauguration. They’re also investigating whether or not the invasion was an “inside job” between the rioters and building staffers or members of Congress.