A rehearsal for Joe Biden’s inauguration scheduled for Sunday has been postponed because of security concerns, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.
After last week’s riots in Washington, security officials have locked down the Capitol complex, and the National Guard is expected to deploy more than 20,000 troops to assist with security. Top lawmakers and Homeland Security officials have been alarmed about the rising threats around the inauguration, and the FBI warned this weekend of armed protests in all 50 states.
The rehearsal is now planned for Monday, the people said.
The president-elect’s team has also canceled an Amtrak trip from Wilmington to Washington planned for Monday because of heightened security concerns.
The presidential inaugural committee declined to comment on the changes, and the Secret Service and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies did not respond to requests for comment.
Biden’s team has also brought on Lisa Monaco, a former Homeland Security adviser in the Obama administration, to serve as a temporary adviser on security around the inauguration. Monaco, whom Biden nominated to serve as deputy attorney general, has paused her activities related to the nomination as she works with the transition on security matters. “Ms. Monaco will assist the President-elect and work with the incoming national security advisor, the incoming homeland security advisor, and current security and law enforcement officials, including with the United States Secret Service on their plans for the inauguration,” a spokesperson for the transition said in a statement. “Given the existing threats, Ms. Monaco’s temporary role will be focused solely on the period leading up to the inauguration.”
And on Friday morning, the House Oversight Committee sent letters to 27 transportation and lodging companies — from car rental services like Avis and Hertz to hotel chains like Marriott and Hyatt — urging them to implement "screening measures" to ensure their services aren't used to facilitate domestic terrorist plots surrounding Biden's inauguration.
Committee chair Carolyn Maloney is also asking the companies to retain all January records for potential sharing with law enforcement and to inform the panel of the plans it implemented by the end of the month.
Biden received a briefing on Wednesday about the threats from the FBI, the Secret Service and national security officials.
“In the week since the attack on Congress by a mob that included domestic terrorists and violent extremists,” Biden’s transition team said in a statement, “the nation has continued to learn more about the threat to our democracy and about the potential for additional violence in the coming days, both in the National Capital Region and in cities across the country. This is a challenge that the President-elect and his team take incredibly seriously.”