Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said in a statement on Thursday that the Pentagon continues to perform its regular duties and will ensure a peaceful transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.
“I strongly condemn these acts of violence against our democracy,” Miller tweeted. “I, and the people I lead in the Department of Defense, continue to perform our duties in accordance with our oath of office, and will execute the time-honored peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden on January 20.”
On Wednesday afternoon, thousands of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol building in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. The protesters attacked Capitol police with metal pipes, chemical irritants, and other weapons, and damaged property before seizing the rotunda and inauguration stage.
"Yesterday’s violence at the Capitol was reprehensible and contrary to the tenets of the United States Constitution. In the midst of this tragedy, I was proud of the professionalism of our Department of Defense personnel.— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) January 7, 2021
Politico reported that Miller authorized thousands more National Guardsmen from at least six US states to help the DC authorities maintain order following the violence at the US Capitol.
The mayhem on Wednesday triggered a backlash from members of the US administration as well as calls for initiating an impeachment procedure against incumbent President Trump, with Democrats accusing him of inciting the violence in DC.
It also sparked anger among Trump's former and current officials, as well as fellow Republicans, who reconsidered their intention to support his challenge of the 2020 election results. Former Attorney General William Barr slammed Trump over what he called a betrayal of his office and supporters”, accusing him of “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress.”