Photographs showing members of the National Guard sleeping on the floor of the US Capitol blew up on social media ahead of a vote to call on Vice President Mike Pence to relieve President Trump of his power.

National Guard troops dispatched to US Capitol for security pic.twitter.com/A3XhiRnxS2

— RT (@RT_com) January 13, 2021

Journalists in the Capitol took to Twitter to post the images, which showed the armed troops camping out in hallways by fire extinguishers, educational displays, and even a bust of Abraham Lincoln.

I spotted the National Guard sleeping in the hallways of the Capitol as I walked in this morning. pic.twitter.com/PzVpQCo5yU

— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 13, 2021

Hundreds of National Guard troops sleep on the floor of the Capitol Visitors Center as Democrats begin debating an article of impeachment against President Trump. – @LACaldwellDC pic.twitter.com/hjWgALCisN

— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 13, 2021

“Well this is something I thought I’d never see,” declared the Daily Telegraph’s US editor Ben Riley-Smith, while CBS News reporter Grace Segers called the display “surreal” and “one of the weirdest and most horrifying days of my life.”

Compare and contrast

Left: Last Wednesday
(By Ashley Gilbertson, NY Times)

Right: This Wednesday pic.twitter.com/X8b4pwpZnO

— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021

The scene at the Capitol Visitor Center – absolutely filled with National Guard. pic.twitter.com/A9JNT7nwlh

— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) January 13, 2021

CNN Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny pointed out that “unlike House members who choose to stay in their offices to either save money or make some kind of a point, they have no House gym or shower to use.”

“The US Capitol is now a military base,” tweeted Bloomberg News’ Erik Wasson.

The US Capitol is now a military base. Massive show of force outside. National Guard is armed with rifles and spread just few feet apart along perimeter as House prepares to impeach the president pic.twitter.com/cPspvZMBUF

— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) January 13, 2021

Thousands of National Guard troops were in the Capitol on Wednesday ahead of a House vote to call on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and relieve the president of his power.

After Pence refused, the Democrat-majority House launched impeachment proceedings against Trump, saying he incited supporters who stormed the Capitol last Wednesday as Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. Four protesters and a Capitol Police officer died during the unrest.

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