Home National Pentagon Chief Feared ‘Coup’ Accusations if He Deployed Troops to Capitol Riot

Pentagon Chief Feared ‘Coup’ Accusations if He Deployed Troops to Capitol Riot

Pentagon Chief Feared ‘Coup’ Accusations if He Deployed Troops to Capitol Riot


WASHINGTON — Christopher C. Miller, who was the performing protection secretary when rioters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, plans to testify earlier than Congress on Wednesday that he frightened that sending troops to the complicated would contribute to perceptions of a “military coup” below President Donald J. Trump.

He may even blame Mr. Trump for encouraging the violent mob that overran the Capitol Police, in accordance to written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Mr. Miller’s feedback, a part of the prolonged protection of the Pentagon’s actions earlier than and in the course of the mob violence, are the primary he’ll make in sworn testimony as numerous committees examine the most important assault on the Capitol because the War of 1812. He is about to testify throughout an hourslong listening to earlier than the committee at 10 a.m.

“I personally believe his comments encouraged the protesters that day,” Mr. Miller plans to say about Mr. Trump.

Fear of the looks of a coup was not a proof given by the Pentagon within the days after the riot. At the time, Defense Department officers mentioned they largely held again as a result of they weren’t requested to ship troops. District of Columbia officers, the previous chief of the Capitol Police and Maryland’s Republican governor have all mentioned they referred to as for the National Guard to be deployed for hours on Jan. 6 earlier than the Pentagon gave approval.

During the listening to, Democrats plan to press Mr. Miller and former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen on what they imagine is a “stark contrast” between how aggressively the Justice and Defense Departments responded to Black Lives Matter protests over the summer time and the pro-Trump mob assault on the Capitol, in accordance to a committee aide. Democrats additionally plan to ask whether or not the Justice Department had a “blind spot to right-wing extremism” that prevented it from anticipating the potential for violence, the aide mentioned.

“There is no question that former President Trump’s inflammatory language provoked and incited the violent mob that stormed the United States Capitol in a last-ditch effort to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election,” mentioned Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, the committee’s chairwoman. “Yet more than four months later, Congress and the American people still have many unanswered questions about why the Trump administration did not do more in response to open threats of violence espoused by violent right-wing extremists before the attack, and why federal agencies were so slow to respond once the attack began.”

Mr. Rosen will reaffirm the Justice Department’s willpower that it had seen “no evidence of widespread voter fraud at a scale sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election,” in accordance to his submitted testimony.

He additionally plans to testify that the division performed a secondary function in safety preparations for Congress’s Jan. 6 certification of the election outcomes and the anticipated protests.

“Based on the updates I received, I was confident that very substantial efforts were undertaken by D.O.J. personnel in advance of Jan. 6 to understand and prepare for the potential threats, and share that information with law enforcement partners,” Mr. Rosen is anticipated to say.

Mr. Miller plans to testify that Mr. Trump didn’t block the National Guard from being deployed. According to his testimony, a day earlier than the riot, the president requested 10,000 troops to be current.

“The call lasted fewer than 30 seconds, and I did not respond substantively, and there was no elaboration. I took his comment to mean that a large force would be required to maintain order the following day,” Mr. Miller wrote.

Defense Department officers have come below criticism because the assault, significantly from the commander of the D.C. National Guard, who testified before Congress in March that the Pentagon had positioned “unusual” restrictions on his troops earlier than the Capitol riot. The commander, Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, who has since develop into the House sergeant-at-arms, mentioned the navy leaders’ fears of a repeat of aggressive techniques used throughout racial justice protests final yr slowed decision-making and squandered time because the violence escalated.

He has additionally mentioned he didn’t obtain approval to mobilize troops till greater than three hours after he had requested it.

But Mr. Miller is anticipated to defend his actions, arguing that he knowledgeable General Walker hours earlier that he might deploy the guard. He additionally plans to say he believed a navy deployment would ship the fallacious message to the protesters.

“My concerns regarding the appropriate and limited use of the military in domestic matters were heightened by commentary in the media about the possibility of a military coup or that advisers to the president were advocating the declaration of martial law,” Mr. Miller wrote. “I was also concerned that those seeking to obstruct the Electoral College certification or otherwise disrupt our government could provoke a soldier to act in a way that could be portrayed in the media as an attack against demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights of assembly and speech.”

Capitol safety officers have blamed communication breakdowns and overlapping jurisdictions for creating utter confusion that hindered makes an attempt to cease the assault. Mr. Miller plans to testify that these breakdowns had been evident within the days earlier than the riot.

“A principal concern for the Department of Defense was the apparent lack of coordination, synchronization and information exchange with and between the numerous domestic law enforcement organizations having primary jurisdiction and responsibility over such matters in the District,” he wrote. “I felt it was my responsibility to initiate these discussions given my sense that these efforts and coordination were not tightly wired at that point.”

Even so, he plans to say that he stands behind the selections he made on Jan. 6.

“I know that many fine men and women serving on the front lines on Jan. 6, 2021, with domestic law enforcement agencies did their best to protect the Capitol and the individuals who were in harm’s way from a lawless and ignorant mob acting contrary to nearly two and a half centuries of peaceful and respectful transfers of power under our Constitution,” he wrote.


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