National Guard members stand guard outside the U.S. Capitol, January 17, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
* Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller said there was no proof of an insider threat
* A fire under a bridge near the Capitol building produced huge plumes of smoke on Monday morning * It sent the nearby rehearsal into a panic and staffers ran for their lives from the bleachers set up
* A loudspeaker announcement played warning people to evacuate; no public officials were in attendance
* Staffers in nearby buildings were told to stay away from windows and the military was evacuated
* The fire department later tweeted that the smoke came from a fire beneath a bridge a short distance away
* The fire was started by a homeless woman using propane inside her tent that caused ‘an explosion’
* The scare comes amid growing fears of an attack on Wednesday after an unprecedented period of unrest
* President Trump will not attend Wednesday’s event – he plans to leave DC at 8am and not participate in any kind of transition of power
* Fewer than 100 people have been charged over the riot on January 6
The Acting US Secretary of Defense said on Monday there was no intelligence to indicate an insider threat to Joe Biden’s inauguration but that troops were still being vetted before the event.
Christopher C. Miller said in a statement released by the Defense Department on Monday afternoon: ‘As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C.
‘While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital.