The FBI on Monday issued warnings about possible armed protests in all 50 state capitals in the days ahead of the presidential inauguration after a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of President Donald Trump. In Juneau, law enforcement agencies said they were aware of the threats and were taking precautions.
In an email, JPD spokesperson Lt. Krag Campbell said the department was aware of rallies taking place across the country and was working with other local state and federal authorities.
Chloe Martin, public information officer for the FBI Anchorage field office, declined to comment beyond saying the FBI was supporting state, local and federal law enforcement in maintaining public safety.
Inauguration day on Jan. 20 is also the first day of the new session for the Alaska Legislature, which saw its own disputed election over an Anchorage district seat.
Legislative Affairs Director Jessica Geary, who is in charge of security at the Alaska State Capitol, issued a memo to staff Jan. 6 saying that while there were no known threats, extra security measures would be taken out of an abundance of caution.
The Capitol building, for example, was added to the Juneau Police Department’s downtown patrol.
“Their fifty-two officers are available should we need assistance,” the memo said.
Meanwhile, Alaska’s congressional delegation has remained mostly quiet about Democratic attempts to remove President Donald Trump from office before the Jan. 20 inauguration, despite a major push by Democrats and some Republicans.
House Democrats on Monday submitted articles of impeachment against the president, which were to be debated Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. Tuesday evening, the was to debate a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which can remove a president from office if he or she is deemed unfit to lead.
Alaska’s only House representative, Don Young, a Republican, did not immediately respond to request seeking comment on the Democrats’ efforts.
All three members of Alaska’s delegation issued strong statements condemning the Jan. 6, occupation of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, perhaps not more strongly than Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who called on Trump to resign. She said she might leave the Republican Party. Murkowski was the first Republican senator to call for Trump’s resignation.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday.
After condemning the violence at the Capitol, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said in a Jan. 7 statement that he had joined in submitting a bill that would create a 9/11-style commission that would bring transparency to the 2020 election.
“It is increasingly clear that tens of millions of Americans, including thousands of Alaskans, question the legitimacy of the outcome of this election and the integrity of the American electoral process,” Sullivan said.
The bill establishing the commission was submitted by Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, and 13 other Republican senators, including Sullivan. As of Monday, the text of that bill had not been submitted, according to the Library of Congress, but its description says the bill would “establish an advisory committee to make recommendations on improvements to the security, integrity, and administration of Federal elections.”
Sullivan’s office did not respond to request for comment.
In a Jan. 7 statement, Young said he supported Trump’s efforts to pursue legal challenges but that the process had played out.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.