Inspector General report whitewashes role of top Pentagon leaders in Trump January 6 coup

Department of Defense (DoD) Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell released a report on the Pentagon’s response before and during the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol. The report completely whitewashes the role of senior Pentagon leaders before and during the attack on Congress by Trump supporters, including the central role of civilians and senior Pentagon military officials in delaying the dispatch of troops from the Pentagon. the National Guard.

In this Jan. 6, 2021 photo, insurgents loyal to former President Donald Trump gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington [Credit: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File]

Apologizing for the military’s lack of preparedness before Jan. 6, O’Donnell, a Trump-appointed person who is also Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote: “We looked for a role or a responsibility for the DoD is taking preventative action to prevent or deter what later happened on Capitol Hill. We did not find any.

Seeking to discredit one of the few military officials who spoke out against the Pentagon’s actions on January 6, the report cites statements from anonymous witnesses to question Congressional testimony presented earlier this year by the former commander of the DC National Guard and current Sergeant-at-Arms William Marcheur.

Last March, Walker, speaking at a joint Senate Rules and Homeland Security Committee hearing, said Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy have delayed urgent requests of National Guard support on Capitol Hill for three hours and 19 minutes, leaving him “stunned and frustrated.” Walker said in March he had a 40-person rapid reaction force, waiting to be deployed to Capitol Hill in “20 minutes,” which “could have made a difference.”

Miller was appointed acting defense secretary on Nov. 9 following Trump’s election defeat. A 30-year veteran of the Army Special Forces who fought in both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Miller brought with him to the Pentagon Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a far-right operative with previous ties to the fascist Steve Bannon, and Kash Patel, a White House Assistant with an ultra-right background.

Interviewed for the IG report, Walker reiterated his testimony from March, including that his phone request at 1:49 p.m., at the request of U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund, for permission to deploying soldiers to the Capitol was delayed by the lieutenant. General Walter Piatt and Lieutenant General Charles Flynn, who advised McCarthy against sending troops to Capitol Hill. Walker said the two generals had expressed concerns to him and McCarthy about the soldiers’ “outlook” on Capitol Hill and that their presence could “stir up the crowd.”

The delay was caused in part because McCarthy, as the report confirms, repeatedly asked Walker for a “concept of operation.” As lawmakers ran for their lives and a functioning gallows erected outside the Capitol, McCarthy demanded detailed instructions on exactly what Walker’s troops would do, where they would go, to whom they would report and what would be. their exact mission before he brings Walker’s Request to Miller. Unlike US states, where governors command the National Guard, the DC National Guard operates under the direction of the Pentagon.

When asked by investigators about the DoD preparations for Jan. 6, Generals Flynn and Piatt told investigators that “protecting the Capitol is a law enforcement mission, not a DoD mission.”

As to Walker’s claims that a rapid reaction force could have been deployed much sooner and that troops were needlessly delayed, the report claims that the “3 ¼ to 3 ½ hours” it took for the soldiers of the DC National Guard to be approved to support voluntarily overwhelmed personnel and the under-equipped United States Capitol Police was “reasonable in light of the circumstances that existed that day” and that “DoD officials did not not delayed or hindered the DoD’s response… January 6, 2021 “.

While claiming on the one hand that taking more than three hours to deploy troops to Capitol Hill was “reasonable,” the report also asserts that any delay on the part of the Pentagon was not the fault of senior management, but rather that of the Pentagon. by Walker. According to the report, McCarthy first alerted Walker by phone at 4:35 p.m., another two hours and 46 minutes after Walker’s first request for approval, which he had authorized troops to deploy to Capitol Hill. The report claims McCarthy called Walker again around 5:05 p.m. to “reissue the deployment order,” according to an unidentified military witness. Walker had previously testified and reiterated in his statements to investigators that he did not get the initial approval until 5:08 p.m.

In a telephone interview with the Washington post Walker told the newspaper on Wednesday he was “shocked” by “inaccurate and unsubstantiated statements by unnamed military officials”. Justifying his pleas to McCarthy, Piatt and Flynn to send troops quickly, Walker said: “These were urgent circumstances. Rome was on fire.

“I came dangerously close to saying, ‘Hey, we’re going,’ then quitting. But cautious people dissuaded me from this decision. It probably wouldn’t have been the right one. Walker told the To post that the Inspector General never asked him any questions about McCarthy’s alleged 4:35 p.m. phone call. Calling the Inspector General’s report “sloppy” and inaccurate, Walker said his testimony put him face to face with “the most powerful army in the world.”

“And I believe in this army,” Walker said, “but this army failed on Jan.6.”

Conflicting timetables provided by the Defense Ministry underscore the massive cover-up still underway. A previous timeline released by the DoD in January showed that no phone calls had taken place between Walker and senior Pentagon officials at that time.

During the same March hearing where Walker first testified about the delay, he made it clear that he did not get McCarthy’s approval until 5:08 p.m. Robert Salesses, a senior Pentagon official who testified at the same hearing said McCarthy received approval for Miller’s Walker’s request at 4:32 p.m., but Walker was not notified for 30 minutes.

“In fairness to General Walker too,” said Salesses, “that’s when the [acting] the Secretary of Defense made the decision at 4:32 a.m. He continued, “As General Walker pointed out, because I saw all the timelines, he didn’t find out until 5:08 am.”

In a follow-up interview with the To post On Thursday, Walker reiterated that he never received a phone call from McCarthy at 4:35 p.m. and asked the Inspector General to remove that from the report. Walker told the To post that the office of the inspector general did not “corroborate simple information and base its conclusion on errors of fact”.

“Why was the National Guard not launched immediately? Walker asked. “We had people on the streets and my plan was just to reassign them, abandon the traffic checkpoints, abandon the metro stations and get to the Capitol. I had the civil unrest equipment in the vehicles.

Highlighting the role of Trump loyalists at the Pentagon in delaying the deployment of troops to Capitol Hill, Jonathan Karl, in his book Betrayal: The Trump Show’s Final Act, reports the frenzied efforts of an aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to enlist the help of the Pentagon to help lawmakers hunted down on Trump’s orders.

“Across the room on the Senate side of the Capitol, Mitch McConnell’s staff were barricaded inside his offices, located along the main hallway connecting the House and the Senate. The rioters scrambled to break in and, as they tried, Robert Karem, an aide to McConnell, called the Pentagon in a desperate plea for help. Karem, who had recently served as Deputy Secretary of Defense, got his hands on Kash Patel, chief of staff to Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller.

“Karem described the scene and begged Patel to send help.

“According to two sources who spoke about the call, Patel rejected it, suggesting the situation on Capitol Hill was not his responsibility.”

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