The Phoenix Flyer

No sign of trouble at Florida Capitol as Biden prepared to take office

By: - January 20, 2021 11:48 am

Law officers prepare to enter the Florida Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021, the morning of Joe Biden’s inauguration as president. Authorities had been warned of potential trouble from supporters of Donald Trump. Credit: Michael Moline/Florida Phoenix

Calm prevailed at the Florida Capitol as Joe Biden prepared to take the oath of office as president of the United States on Wednesday.

The FBI had warned of potential trouble at the hands of Donald Trump’s supporters at state capitals as the Democrat’s inauguration neared. However, a Phoenix reporter in Tallahassee saw no demonstrators of any stripe as of around 11 a.m., one hour before the shift in administrations.

Law enforcement was present — about a dozen sheriffs’ deputies entered the lower level of the Senate Office Building, perhaps joining other officers already inside. A small number of additional officers, plus news camera crews, could be seen on the grounds.

People opposing and supporting Donald Trump near the Florida Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Credit: Tim Hyde

The scene was if anything quieter than on Sunday, when Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida National Guard to be on standby amid tight security featuring police observers atop several buildings surrounding the Capitol Complex.

Phoenix reporters spotted only a few anti-Trump demonstrators put in an appearance over the weekend.

Update: Later Wednesday, at about 1 p.m., a man posted a placard referencing United We Stand, an anti-Trump group, near the Capitol grounds. A small group of Trump supporters approached and spoke with him but the interaction appeared uncontentious.

Meanwhile, DeSantis’ daily schedule, released at 4:16 p.m., reflected a 9:15 phone call with Guard Adjutant Gen. James Eifert.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.