FILE - Pennsylvania National Guard

Pennsylvania National Guard members stand watch near City Hall, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Philadelphia, following the general election.

(The Center Square) – Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday he sent 1,000 National Guard troops to Washington D.C. in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill protests.

Four people died, including a man from Schuylkill County, when pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the Capitol building Wednesday. The violent mob interrupted a joint session of Congress that convened to certify election results in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. 

The event triggered nationwide backlash against Republicans who questioned election integrity and stirred up talks among Democrats – backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer – of invoking the 25th amendment against President Donald Trump.

Wolf scolded the eight Republican members of the House’s Pennsylvania delegation who objected to the state’s election results, placing the blame for Wednesday’s “attempted coup” at the party’s feet.

“The actions of Republicans in Pennsylvania and across the country have led to violence,” he said. “It is their fault. There should be no equivocation.”

In a statement, Wolf said the “unprecedented and disturbing events … are cause for ongoing concern.” The troops will stay in Washington D.C. through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

“Pennsylvania Guard members are well-trained and well-prepared to assist our communities, commonwealth and country in any way they can,” said acting Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler. “We are also very fortunate that our Guard members have extensive experience working alongside the D.C. National Guard as part of past training events and presidential inaugurations.”

Pennsylvania maintains the second largest National Guard nationwide, enlisting more than 19,000 members across 80 armories and readiness centers.

"We have had a peaceful transfer of power every election cycle in our nation's history but because of the actions of Republicans, we can no longer say that,” Wolf tweeted Thursday. “I am disgusted, but I will keep fighting to make our democracy stronger.”

Staff Reporter

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania's General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.