The President is a Threat to Congress and D.C.

Lindsay Chervinsky, Ph.D.
4 min readJan 7, 2021

The Framers of the Constitution created a federal district because they didn’t want any one state to have too much power over the Federal Government. The political balance of power has changed — the president is now a threat to Congress and the citizens of D.C. It is time for the District of Columbia to attain statehood and obtain power over its own security forces in order to protect its residents and Congress.

On June 20, 1783, roughly 400 Continental Army soldiers marched to the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) and barred the doors. Congress owed troops months, and in some cases, years of back pay, and soldiers were hungry and worried about their futures. They feared that the war would end shortly and the army would be disbanded without pay. Congressmen worried about their safety and asked the Pennsylvania government to provide security for congressmen, but Pennsylvania refused to offer assistance. After learning of the events, Commander-in-Chief George Washington sent 1,500 troops to suppress the mutiny. Congress fled to Princeton, New Jersey and reconvened in Nassau Hall.

Just a few years later, delegates gathered at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787. They gathered in the very same hall where congressmen had trembled behind closed doors while Pennsylvania troops menaced outside. Remembering Pennsylvania’s failure to protect Congress, the delegates included a provision in the Constitution to create a federal district. The purpose was to create a zone controlled by the Federal Government so that federal officials could guarantee their own safety and protect against state intimidation.

While that principle made sense in 1789, it no longer reflects the political reality of 2021. Individual states are not a threat to Congress, instead Congress is most at risk from domestic terrorists, like the insurrection yesterday. The attack on Congress demonstrated the clear need of Washington, D.C. to have control over its own forces — independent from presidential control.

On Wednesday afternoon, as the rioters broke into the Capitol, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested approval to call out the D.C. National Guard. The Department of Defense rejected the request on Trump’s orders. The Secretary of the Army did call up the D.C. Guard several hours later, but only after the rioters had run rampant in the Capitol, stealing items from the House and Senate chambers, vandalizing Speaker of…

Lindsay Chervinsky, Ph.D.

Historian. Writer. Speaker. Author of THE CABINET.