COLUMBUS, Ohio — At his news conference on Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine said that a member of the Ohio National Guard was removed from duty after white supremacist social media posts the member made were discovered by the FBI.
DeWine said that the FBI is investigating and that while due process will take place, he expects the guardsman, who was not identified, would be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard.
"(The Guard member) was removed from the mission in Washington, DC, after the FBI uncovered information that this Guardsman expressed white supremacist ideology on the internet prior to the assignment," DeWine said.
"While I fully support everyone's right to free speech, Guardsmen and women are sworn to protect all of us, regardless of race, ethnic background, or religion," he said.
The Ohio National Guard and the Ohio Department of Public Safety are involved with the FBI in its investigation, and the individual is suspended from all missions at this time.
Adjutant Gen. John C. Harris of the Ohio National Guard appeared on the briefing to discuss the mission the Guard is completing specific to coronavirus testing, but did not offer any comment on the situation of the removed Ohio National Guardsman.
Earlier in the week, DeWine said the Ohio National Guard was called upon by the secretary of defense to send personnel to the nation's capital. One hundred Ohio National Guard members were sent to D.C. on Tuesday morning Harris said. That personnel will provide security at the White House, national monuments and businesses.