Small groups of pro-Trump demonstrators, some armed, have begun gathering outside statehouses, including in Michigan, Ohio and South Carolina.
In Lansing, Michigan, state police troopers walked around the Capitol grounds as a small group of demonstrators stood near a chain-link fence surrounding the 142-year-old building. Several National Guard vehicles were on a nearby street. One armed man falsely gave his name as Duncan Lemp, a Maryland man who was killed in a no-knock police raid and became a martyr for a loose network of gun-toting, anti-government extremists.
A supporter of President Donald Trump wore a red “Make American Great Again” hat while standing on the lawn with a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. The back of his shirt read: “PATRIOT NOT RACIST NOT TERRORIST.”
In Columbus, Ohio, about two dozen people, several carrying long guns, gathered outside the Capitol as dozens of state troopers and National Guard members guarded multiple points around the Statehouse, including every entrance. Nearly every business around the downtown capital square was boarded up.
Several dozen people were gathering at the South Carolina Statehouse, some carrying American flags. It was not immediately clear if some in the group were also counter-protesters supportive of the incoming Biden administration.
A heavy law enforcement presence surrounded the government complex in downtown Columbia. The Capitol itself has been surrounded with metal barricades for several days, and state lawmakers have announced they will not hold their scheduled in-person session this week because of the possible unrest.