Inslee may call up National Guard to protect state Capitol

VIDEO: Inslee may call up National Guard to protect state Capitol

OLYMPIA, Wash. — In the face of possible demonstrations, state lawmakers are still planning to meet at the Capitol on Monday. That’s despite the assault on the governor’s mansion right next door.

Demonstrations are common during the legislative session — even protests where guns are openly carried.

But yesterday’s mob invading the grounds of the governor’s mansion was something not seen in at least 100 years.

Content Continues Below

“It was not a protest. It was an insurrection, and we need to go to the heart of that insurrection and remove that cancer. And that means the president of United States, who has continually fueled this insurrection with his alt-right deceptions, his deceit and his continued lies,” said Gov. Jay Inslee, who was inside the mansion at the time of the assault.

Now, despite possible protests, state lawmakers are planning to meet Monday inside the state Capitol right next door to the governor’s mansion. The law states they have to meet once in person in order to adopt the rules that allow for the COVID-19-safe virtual sessions.

Redmond Democratic state Sen. Manka Dhingra said, “We have to be cautious, but I also think it is important that the state see their elected leaders do the job that they were elected to do in a safe way.”

“If we ... kowtow to that intimidation, then they’ve won,” said Addy Republican state Sen. Shelly Short.

They did look for another place large enough months ago but were turned away for security concerns.

“It appears to the Constitution requires this meeting to be in person. I, for one, would love to do it out on a farm. This is where we’re going to do it,” said Yelm Republican state Rep. J.T. Wilcox, the House minority leader.

Now, Inslee may call up the National Guard to defend the Capitol campus.

“We understand the nature of the threat. It is significant. And I can assure you there will be a very significant security around the Capitol for everybody’s benefit,” Inslee said.

Despite the risk, lawmakers believe they have a duty to meet at the Capitol on Monday.

“Our democratic republic is fragile in a lot of ways. It is also as tough as nails,” said Tacoma Democratic state Rep. Laurie Jenkins, the speaker of the House.