Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Tuesday asked the Pentagon to withdraw National Guard troops from the U.S. Capitol, citing an incident in which Del. Michael San Nicolas (D-Guam) led a contingent of Guam National Guard troops to her office.
Greene, in a letter to Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin and Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, alleged a “dangerous and troubling trend” of National Guard troops being used to “harass members of Congress and their staff.”
Greene specifically accused San Nicolas of using more than two dozen National Guard troops to “ambush my office unannounced” and “subsequently video record my staff without solicitation or defense.”
San Nicolas’ visit, in which he came bearing Chamorro Chip Cookies and a history book about Guam, a U.S. territory, came in response to Greene stating, “we believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America, not for, what, China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam, whatever, wherever. Right?”
The move drew widespread condemnation from Republicans, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dismissing it as a “political stunt,” but San Nicolas told CNN he was “not at all using military service members as political props,” but rather leading them on a tour in which they visited multiple House leaders.
Maj. Gen. Esther J.C. Aguigui of the Guam National Guard told the Military Times that the Guard remains a “non-partisan entity” and that they “appreciate Congressman San Nicolas’ efforts to represent our culture,” while thanking Greene for “helping raise awareness of Guamanians as citizens of the United States.”
Greene, in her letter, requested that National Guard troops at the Capitol be withdrawn and fencing with razor wire be removed, adding that military troops should “no longer be used as a political tool to intimidate, harass, or critique members of the press or Congress.”
The outlet Forbes reached out to San Nicolas’ office for comment.
The current fortifications at the Capitol, including several fences and thousands of National Guard troops, were put in place after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to overturn the election. Greene, a staunch Trump supporter who has espoused belief in the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory in the past, has downplayed the attack and frequently railed against the new security measures.
While the innermost fence around the Capitol has not been removed, the razor wire on top of it has. After coming under bipartisan pressure to begin scaling back some security measures amid a dearth of intelligence about more planned attacks on the building, the Capitol Police announced Monday that the razor wire had been removed and the outer fencing scaled back.
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Though the Capitol Police requested, and received, a two-month extension of the National Guard deployment at the Capitol earlier this month, the House Sergeant-at-Arms told lawmakers in a memo on Monday that the National Guard will “begin to reduce its posture at the Capitol in the coming weeks.”