ABC's Pierre Thomas and Jonathan Karl on preparations for Biden's inauguration

ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas and ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl discuss Trump’s departure and security for Biden's inauguration.
6:19 | 01/17/21

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Transcript for ABC's Pierre Thomas and Jonathan Karl on preparations for Biden's inauguration
Insurrection, impeachment, inauguration. Three Wednesdays, three weeks unlike any others in American history, and in just three days, Joseph Biden will take the oath of office, address an America in plagued by a pandemic, economic hardship, deeply divided, reeling from the most dramatic act of domestic terrorism our country has ever seen. All inspired by the president leaving office. As we come on the air this morning, there are more U.S. Troops protecting the capitol than in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia combined. Where almost too many people -- 2 million people gathered will be empty when Joe Biden swears to serve and protect the constitution of the United States. And not long after, all 100 senators will take an oath of their own, promising to do impartial justice in the second trump impeachment trial. Head-swirling, mind-bending, surreal and historic. We are living through a real major moment in the life of our republic, and we will try to do justice with Jon Karl and Pierre Thomas. Pierre, let me begin with you we know that Washington is on the highest alert right now. They even have a green zone. That's a term we usually associate with Baghdad. George, this truly now is fortress Washington. The city is in near total lockdown. Look at those images of the National Guard arriving at national Andrews base yesterday. Just extraordinary. There are military vehicles and police cars on every corner. Streets are shut down. Fences with razor wire erected. The national mall is essentially closed. As I drove in this morning, constitution avenue was blocked. No traffic allowed. Sources are feeling more and more comfortable that Washington is secure, and there could be a threat. Any threat could be faced down quickly even though they are worried about improvising explosives and extremists showing up in large numbers with this threat goes farther. The latest sign, the U.S. Postal service is removing mailboxes and suspending mail collection across 17 states ahead of the inauguration. They are worried there may not be enough of resources to protect government buildings. The siege at the capitol is even more dangerous than we knew in realtime. George, we have some disturbing new evidence about vice president pence and speaker Pelosi. Sources are pointing to a man in the case of Dominic pezzola who was accused of being the man in this window smashing a window to get into the building. Witnesses claiming to have had a conversation with him and other members of the group that stormed the capitol, the witness says they discussed how and he had others allegedly went to the capitol and would have killed speaker Pelosi and vice president pence if given a chance, and he also discussed coming back to D.C. And killing everyone they can get ahold of, George. That is just chilling. You also heard testimony from two of the police officers were assaulted by the mob. George, on a personal and professional note, I'm still reeling from a conversation I had with two officers who have been seen in those two infamous videos that have gone viral. One crushed in the door yelling for his life. The other who had been viciously beaten by an angry mob outside the capitol. Their story raised the hair on the back of my neck. They talked about a fight, a "Game of thrones" brawl. Members of the mob foaming from the mouth with nothing but hate and anger in their eyes and both men wondering if they were going to live to tell their stories, George. Pierre Thomas, thanks very much. Let me bring in Jon Karl for more on the impeachment trial that is to come. We don't know when this is going to look like, but what do we know about how the president is preparing? His strategy is very much in the air. I had a lengthy conversation yesterday with Rudy Giuliani who said he is working on the president's defense at least for now, but then a former trump campaign spokesperson put out a statement claiming that the president hasn't made his mind up as to who will lead his defense, and George, I talked to Giuliani about his approach to the trial, what he would do. He said that he would encourage the president to -- that he would bring up all of those discredited claims about voter fraud, claims that Giuliani himself has brought up in courtroom after courtroom around the country, and has -- have been discredited. He said that if he can prove that those claims are true or that the president had reason to believe they are true, then you can't accuse him of inciting the mob. I don't know how that legal strategy will fly, but Giuliani also said that he would not rule out the president himself testifying in his senate trial. Well, that would be something. Our new poll shows that 68% of the country opposes the pardon, but the president still considering that? I'm told he's very much still considering it. He's been advised by all of the lawyers who are still here working at the white house not to do it, that it probably wouldn't stand up to constitutional scrutiny, and it could complicate efforts after he leaves the white house leaving the president vulnerable to civil lawsuits, but Giuliani for his part, told me that he thinks the president would be fully justified in pardoning himself, and then he said about that concern about civil lawsuits, George, his legal life -- the president's legal life is going to be complicated no matter what. I would much rather have my civil life complicated, than my criminal life. That is what Rudy Giuliani said about a self-pardon. The trump white house has never been a conventional white house. I take it's more strange than ever? It's bizarre. This place is basically empty. Most of the senior staff and almost all of the junior staff have already packed up their desks, packed up their offices and are gone. It's a very empty place, and I'm told that the president is spending a considerable time planning his exit. He wants a big farewell with lots of military fanfare, a red carpet up to air force one, military vans and even is talking about a military flyover. Fighter jets flying over as he prepares to board air force one for the last time. We shall see. Gentlemen, thank you both very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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