12 in National Guard removed from inauguration security after FBI vetting

National News

WASHINGTON (AP) – Pentagon officials say 12 Army National Guard members have been removed from securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration after vetting by the FBI, including two who posted and texted extremist views about Wednesday’s event.

There was no specific threat to Biden.

Two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that all 12 were found to have ties to right-wing militia groups or posted extremist views online. The officials, a senior intelligence official and an Army official briefed on the matter, did not say which fringe group the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, confirmed Tuesday that the Guard members had been removed and sent home but said only two were for inappropriate comments or texts related to the inauguration. The other 10 were for other potential issues that may involve previous criminal activity, but not directly related to the inaugural event.

The officials told the AP they had all been removed because of “security liabilities.”

It’s unclear whether they will face discipline when they return home.

— By AP writers Lolita Baldor and James LaPorta

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