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Hawai‘i National Guard to deploy members to Washington, D.C.

HONOLULU — The Hawaii National Guard will send 200 troops to Washington, D.C., to help support “a peaceful transition of power,” the state’s governor said Thursday.

The Guard members will arrive before next Wednesday and will help local law enforcement, the governor’s office said in a news release.

“The Hawaii National Guard is prepared to support the effort in Washington, D.C., to ensure a peaceful transition of power and a smooth Inauguration Day following a free and fair election,” Ige said.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, the state adjutant general, said the request for help from the National Guard Bureau came Wednesday and soldiers reported the following day.

The deployment comes after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as members of Congress were counting Electoral College votes to validate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. More than 100 people have been arrested in the Capitol riot, with charges ranging from curfew violations to serious federal felonies related to theft and weapons possession.

Separately, the state Department of Accounting and General Services sent lawmakers and others with offices in the Hawaii State Capitol a memo saying it would further tighten access to the building because of threats to state capitols across the country.

The steps include closing the open-air rotunda and limiting entry points for pedestrians and vehicles. The state Capitol has been closed to the public since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: The Garden Island

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