U.S. Capitol Police has told lawmakers that the remainder of the fencing placed around the building following the Jan. 6 insurrection will be removed starting Friday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
July 8 (UPI) -- After more than six months, the U.S. Capitol will soon be free of the security fencing that was put up after the Jan. 6 attack by rioters and radical supporters of former President Donald Trump, authorities at the complex say.
Some of the fencing has come down and the U.S. Capitol Police said the rest will be removed as soon as Friday.
Officials said the removal shouldn't take any longer than two or three days, weather permitting, according to a department email to lawmakers reported by CNN and The Hill. Politico also reported the email from the House sergeant at arms.
"Based on the current threat environment, recent enhancements to [our] response capabilities and enhanced coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement, the Capitol Police Board is supporting [our] recommendation to remove the temporary fencing around Capitol Square," U.S. Capitol Police wrote in the email.
The notice added, however, that the fencing could return if authorities feel there's an appropriate threat.
"Please note that the architect of the Capitol has the ability to and will reinstall the temporary fencing should conditions warrant," the email said.
The 7-foot-tall fencing and razor wire were installed on the U.S. Capitol grounds, which had previously been accessible to the public, immediately after the attack on Jan. 6 by pro-Trump rioters who attempted to disrupt Congress as lawmakers voted to certify Joe Biden's win in the 2020 presidential election.
During the rioting, dozens of Capitol Police officers were hurt and officer Brian Sicknick was killed as attackers vandalized the building and made their way into the chamber where lawmakers were certifying the Electoral College vote.
Trump was impeached for a second time for inciting the insurrection for whipping up the crowd of supporters and telling them to go to the Capitol and "fight like hell" to overturn the results of the election.
U.S. Capitol Police had initially proposed making the security fencing permanent, drawing pushback from some lawmakers, and in February said it should remain in place until at least September amid lingering security concerns.
The outer perimeter of fencing, which blocked traffic on Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., was removed in late March.
The Justice Department said Tuesday that more than 530 people have been charged in the assault, which ultimately resulted in five deaths, more than 140 injured officers and about $1.5 million in property damages.
Last month, the House voted to approve a proposal by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to create a select committee of lawmakers to investigate the riot. She announced some members of the panel last week, which included Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was stripped of her GOP leadership position for criticizing Trump and voting for his removal during the impeachment trial.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Capitol Police detailed a number of changes it has implemented or will soon implement that were recommended as a result of the January attack.
Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo