New Jersey will send 500 National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., this weekend to aid law enforcement there and ensure a “peaceful transition” of presidential power, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday.
It came hours after rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, sending lawmakers into hiding and prompting violent clashes with law enforcement. A woman was fatally shot by police. Three others died in medical emergencies.
Speaking during an unrelated press conference Thursday morning, Murphy called the mob attack an act of “domestic terrorism” spurred on by Trump.
“The president’s refusal to accept the reality that he lost an election created this. His years of lies and willful misinformation created this. His belief that the laws don’t apply to him created this. His spewing of unfounded conspiracy theories created this,” Murphy said.
On Wednesday evening, the state sent 74 New Jersey State Police troopers to the nation’s capital to aid in the law enforcement effort, and Murphy said they were still there on Thursday.
“Every insurrectionist who tried to overthrow the free and fair election of President-elect Biden should be identified, arrested, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Murphy said. “They are not patriots,” he added. “They are the antithesis of what it means to be an American.”