(CNN) America’s oldest military leaders condemned the violent invasion of the US Capitol last week and reminded service members of their commitment to support and defend the Constitution and reject extremism in a statement that underscored the unprecedented challenges facing the country in the wake of the 6 uprising. January trial of President Donald Trump’s supporters.
“We witnessed acts inside the Capitol building that were incompatible with the rule of law. The rights to freedom of expression and assembly give no one the right to resort to violence, rebellion and rebellion,”
The statement underscores the scale of the challenge as officials across the U.S. security establishment struggle to deal with the aftermath of the chaos at the Capitol and decide how best to protect lawmakers in the home of the U.S. Democracy when more information emerges about plans by Trump supporters about to stage another attack and disrupt the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Lawmakers, deeply shaken by the hours of violence last week, are discussing steps to protect themselves, citing Republican members who may have collaborated or communicated with the rebels and other Republican colleagues carrying weapons into the Capitol against the rules.
Government officials from across the government are also gathering and were scheduled to meet for a larger “power” between meetings Wednesday afternoon to discuss in-depth security requirements for the upcoming inauguration and concerns that some events in Washington, DC, could turn violent several senior defense officials. told CNN.
While officials from the Department of Defense and Justice are working to protect the Capitol and lawmakers from domestic terrorists who may be trying to get to Washington in the next few days, they also need to examine people in the military ranks in concern, some may be sympathetic to the goals and extremist beliefs propagated by some Trump supporters.
CNN has learned that the U.S. Army is working with Secret Service to determine if there are soldiers who will be part of the National Guard contingent providing security at Biden’s inauguration that require further background screening.
The DC National Guard also offers additional training to service members when they arrive in Washington that if they see or hear anything that is not appropriate, they must report it to their chain of command, an Army spokesman said in a written statement to CNN.
“There is no place for extremism in the military and we will examine each report individually and take appropriate action,” the spokesman said.
The joint chief’s statement on Wednesday is an important step because leaders, where possible, avoid taking positions that may have political overtones. But military leaders felt it was important to make a statement given the seriousness of the events surrounding the inauguration, CNN was told.
“As service members, we must incorporate the nation’s values and ideals. We support and defend the Constitution. Any action to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oaths; it is against the law,” the statement said.
In addition, the declaration referred to the certification of the election by Congress and said: “The elected President Biden will be inaugurated and become our 46th Commander-in-Chief.”
This story breaks and will be updated.
CNN’s Jake Tapper and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.