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Capitol Police Deny Ordering National Guard Troop to Vacate Building

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The day after National Guard troops were ordered to move out of the Dirkson Senate building in Washington and into a nearby parking garage, officials from the Capitol Police said the department was not responsible for the public relations fiasco.

“I want to assure everyone that, with the exception of specific times on Inauguration Day itself while the swearing-in ceremonies were underway, the United States Capitol police did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities,” Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman posted on the department’s website Friday morning. “And on Inauguration Day, the Guard was notified and encouraged to reoccupy the spaces in the Capitol and CVC at 2 p.m.”

Pittman’s statement appears to contradict what National Guard officials have said.

Thursday evening, after National Guard troops began complaining about being moved out of the Capitol complex to the parking garage of the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Office Building, the National Guard Bureau said the move was the result of a request from Capitol Police.

On Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.. called the move ”utterly unacceptable.

“I have told those who run the security of the Capitol that it can never happen again, and I pledge to every National Guard member that it will not happen again,” he said on the Senate floor. “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the men and women who worked to keep us safe on Jan. 6 and in the days since.”

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