This story appearing in The Washington Post is very odd.
The U.S. Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and is an integral part of overseeing the inauguration said Friday he has been ordered removed from command effective Jan. 20, 12:01 p.m., just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Maj. Gen. Erroll R. Schwartz was as surprised as anyone.
“The timing is extremely unusual,” Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post. During the inauguration, Schwartz would command not only the members of the D.C. guard but also an additional 5,000 unarmed troops sent in from across the country to help. He also would oversee military air support protecting the nation’s capital during the inauguration.
“My troops will be on the street,” Schwartz, who turned 65 in October, said, “I’ll see them off but I won’t be able to welcome them back to the armory.” He said that he would “never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.”
According to WaPo, the orders came from the Pentagon, but Schwartz doesn’t know who decided to fire him. It’s got the White House’s fingerprints all over it from where I sit, and from where Schwartz sits, too.
Unlike in states, where the governor appoints the National Guard commander, in the District that duty falls to the president.
Schwartz said that he has not been told why he was asked to step down. “I’m a soldier,” he said, noting that he was following orders and has no regrets. “I’m a presidential appointee, therefore the president has the power to remove me.”
Now I don’t want people to get their tin foil hats all wrinkled, but it’s really odd that the guy commanding the military police on the streets in D.C. will be relieved at the instant President Trump takes his oath of office. No, I don’t think we’re facing a putsch–stop it. But it is…odd.
I don’t know the politics Maj. Gen. Schwartz holds, but D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, a Democrat, isn’t copacetic with the decision. Take that for what it’s worth.
Meanwhile, in D.C., the disloyal opposition has plans of its own. The #Trump420 march, the Stand Against Trump, War, Racism and Inequality protest, the #DisruptJ20 protest (the one Michael Moore liked), and the Women’s March on Washington. The National Guard and D.C. police really will have their hands full.
Removing the commander of the guard sounds just like one of the many petty things Obama would do. Maybe Trump will find a burning bag of dog poop on the White House portico too.