The D.C. National Guard Should be Transferred from the President to the Mayor

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Xander Apostolakis, Staff Writer

The United States is a federal republic, which means that each state has its state government, laws, and national guard. Its elected governor controls a state’s national guard. Therefore, during times of unrest, the state government has the right to respond to its domestic problems. The District of Columbia is the capital of the United States of America, which is not a part of any state. This city is run solely by the federal government and its elected mayor. D.C., like the states, has its national guard; however, the president has sole control of the D.C. national guard, according to the D.C. National Guard’s official website. 

According to Terry Gross of, many federal agencies, including the FBI, had advanced warning of the attack on the Capitol Building on January 6. In addition, the president knew of the threats; however, there was no preparation in advance. Before the riot, there was a nominal police presence outside the capitol barricades. In addition, there were weak metal barricades surrounding the building and blocking pathways. According to, at the same time, Donald Trump held a rally outside of the White House. He directly encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” and stated many times that he would “never concede.” However, all of the evidence suggested that Joe Biden had won the election. Towards the end of his speech, he told his supporters that he would march to the Capitol with them to “cheer on” the congresspeople looking to overturn the election during the certification process. Instead, according to critics of the former president, he directed the crowd to the capitol, which means that he allegedly incited the riot. After the rally, Trump supporters pushed past the barricades and overwhelmed the police presence. Police officers kept on getting pushed back to the steps of the Capitol, where they begged for backup. Finally, after the crowd got large enough, the rioters smashed the windows of the building and climbed in. The president still refused to send the national guard, even though the Capitol was under siege. By dusk, the Capitol Police managed to clear the building with the D.C. National Guard, who were sent late. 

Many Americans ask this question: why wasn’t the D.C. National Guard deployed before the riot, assisting the Capitol Police’s defense of the building? According to The Independent, the person who had control of the D.C. National Guard was the then-president Donald Trump, who allegedly enjoyed the riot while it played out. If the president liked what was happening, why would he send the National Guard to defend Congress? It took pressure from allies in Congress and his cabinet to eventually and reluctantly send the military hours after the riot first started. In addition, to avoid legal or political trouble, he posted a video of himself insincerely condemning the riot and conceding the election to Joe Biden. Eventually, he returned to his previous rhetoric of a stolen election. President Trump proved himself to be unfit for control of the D.C. National Guard and for being president. In addition, according to The Hill, the president reinforced that the U.S. military could be used as a political weapon, even though the military has an obligation to be impartial and defend the constitution. 

The mayor of Washington D.C. is a leader who is elected only by the people of Washington D.C.. The people of all States elect the president of the United States, meaning people from a state as far away and disconnected from the people of D.C., such as Oregon, have more power over the D.C. National Guard. The people of D.C. should have the right to choose the way their city is protected. The mayor should also be treated as a governor and given gubernatorial powers.