The military Joint Chiefs of Staff issued an unusual statement reminding troops that “sedition and insurrection” are illegal after members of the armed forces reportedly participated in last week’s Capitol riot, CNN reports.
"We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
CNN reported that the military is also taking steps to screen National Guard members in DC for extremism.
“As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” the Joint Chiefs said. “As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”
Army working to identify rioters:
Sen. Tammy Duckworth has called for the Defense Department to cooperate with the FBI to identify members who were involved.
"The Army is committed to working closely with the F.B.I. as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army," an Army spokesperson told CNN.
One Army officer, Capt. Emily Rainey, told the Associated Press she transported more than 100 people to the rally that preceded the riot.
Military reaffirms Biden win:
The Joint Chiefs also took the unusual step of reaffirming that President-elect Joe Biden won the election.
“The violent riot in Washington, D.C., was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building and our constitutional process. We mourn the deaths of the two Capitol policemen and others connected to these unprecedented events,” the statement said. “On Jan. 20, 2021, in accordance with the Constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress, President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th commander in chief.”