During the January 6 Committee meeting on Thursday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said then-President Trump did not call the Defense Department to ask National Guardsmen to respond to the Capitol intrusion.
However, they didn’t even mention that Trump already authorized National Guardsmembers.
What He Said
Milley spoke to the panel during their first session on Thursday, saying Trump never phoned the Army that day.
That’s despite Vice President Mike Pence calling three times and giving “very specific, very direct, unequivocal” orders to mobilize the National Guard. The implication was Trump approved of the Capitol violence.
As per then-Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller’s statement under oath to Congress in May 2021, during a conference at the White House on Jan 3, 2021, the president stated to provide D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser the military help she needed.
On January 5, Trump contacted Miller and informed him 10,000 National Guard soldiers would be required the next day, according to Miller.
“I interpreted his remark to suggest that maintaining order the next day would necessitate a substantial army,” Miller explained.
Surveillance footage shows a tour led by Loudermilk to areas in the House Office Buildings, as well as the entrances to Capitol tunnels.
Individuals on the tour photographed/recorded areas not typically of interest to tourists: hallways, staircases and security checkpoints. pic.twitter.com/Rjhf2BTdbc
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 15, 2022
According to an official document dated January 4, 2021, the president provided the Army secretary the power he required to deploy National Guardsmen through his secretary of defense.
“You are allowed to approve the required support,” Miller said in the document, which was sent to then-Army Chief Ryan McCarthy. The message outlined certain principles for that assistance.
It further said the DC National Guard had been under the leadership of the general in charge of the DC National Guard, who would report to the secretary of defense via the Army director.
Bowser accepted the D.C. National Guard was assisting the Metropolitan Police Department in a tweet on Jan 5, 2021.
However, she made it quite clear the town was “not to request other national law enforcement agents” and the city “discourages any extra implementation without instant notice to, and discussion with, MPD if such proposals are underway.”
Bowser’s tweets and letter were backed up by Miller’s testimony.
Police, Army Were Well Aware of the Threats
“At the time, I had been briefed by our domestic police colleagues that they had adequate people assigned to maintain order, based on their expertise,” he added.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 14, 2022
The committee’s omission of Trump’s authorization of National Guard help ahead of January 6 followed a trend of one-sidedness at the first session.
Reps. Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are the only two Never Trump Republicans on the panel, both of whom were hand-picked by progressives.
McCarthy named five conservatives to the panel, but they were withdrawn after Pelosi rejected two of them.
“No trial or panel hearing can be genuine if it does not provide opposing viewpoints,” says the author, Chairman of the GOP Study Committee, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).