Walz to deploy National Guard to protect Minnesota Capitol

Published 7:19 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2021

ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he plans to deploy the Minnesota National Guard to protect against potential threats to the state Capitol ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Walz told reporters he plans a full announcement on Wednesday, but that troops will be activated for several days.

The governor said he spoke earlier Tuesday with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about a Dec. 29 FBI memo warning of threats to the Minnesota and Michigan state capitols for this weekend. He said he also got a briefing from law enforcement officials.

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Walz says he’s taking the threat very seriously and making the necessary preparations.

The storming of the U.S. Capitol last week by President Donald Trump’s supporters has raised concerns about the potential for more violence. The FBI has warned of the potential for armed protests at all 50 statehouses and in Washington ahead of Biden’s inauguration.

Trump supporters in Minnesota held a “Storm the Capitol” rally outside the Capitol in St. Paul last Wednesday, with one speaker warning of “a civil war,” and another drawing cheers when she predicted “casualties” in Washington. Walz  revealed at a legislative forum Monday  that state troopers evacuated his son from the governor’s residence when the demonstration later shifted there.