Friday, 5 Mar 2021

Security is tight at the Capitol.

The cordon of security added to the U.S. Capitol after the Jan. 6 riot appeared to tighten a notch as former President Donald J. Trump’s second impeachment trial began in the Senate on Tuesday.

Law enforcement officials have not publicly reported any new threats in the days leading up to the proceedings, but tensions remain high and many of the precautions put in place after Jan. 6 will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

The biggest factor in reducing the threat of violence might be the most obvious: No permits for large demonstrations, like the one Mr. Trump headlined before the attack, have been issued, local and federal officials said.

Many of the safeguards put into place at Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial a year ago were visible this week, augmented by restrictions imposed soon after to deal with the pandemic.

An airport-type magnetometer has been placed outside the doors to the chamber in the press gallery on the building’s third floor; spectators without specially issued badges will not be granted access; and typically free-range reporters were kept behind stanchions, shouting questions at passing lawmakers through their masks.

Some Democratic impeachment managers, now as then, have been given their own security details.

Those precautions were set against a backdrop of a building under siege. The National Guard contingent at the Capitol, reduced since its aftermath, was still patrolling parts of the complex — and the iconic domed edifice is now caged behind a perimeter of chain-link fence guarded by armed troops.

In a letter to Democrats last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote that members would be given additional protections when they traveled through airports and train stations to and from the Washington area.

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