WASHINGTON — Two Ohio National Guard members are among a total of 12 members of the National Guard removed from inauguration duty as the federal government screens troops involved for security concerns.
Two Ohio National Guard soldiers were flagged by the FBI and out of an abundance of caution, the FBI removed them from the inaugural support mission, Stephanie Beougher, a public information officer for the Ohio National Guard Office of Public Affairs, confirmed to News 5.
"We do not have all the facts related to why the FBI flagged them, but it is our understanding at this time their removal was not due to criminal or threatening actions or activities," she said in a statement.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said on CNN that the members being pulled were being pulled as a precaution, and they weren't necessarily in trouble.
The troops removed include at least two with possible sympathies for anti-government groups, said two U.S. officials to the Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
According to the Washington Post, Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, declined to provide specifics about the troops who allegedly expressed common cause with anti-government groups. Hokanson told the Washington Post they made "inappropriate comments."
The 12 members removed represent a tiny fraction of the 25,000 guardsmen deployed in Washington for inauguration duty following the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol by a mob.