A former DC National Guard official has accused two senior Army officials of lying to Congress about the circumstances surrounding the January 6th Capitol riot in order to protect a top Army official who didn’t want to send the Guard to the Capitol, Politico reports.
In a 36-page memo sent to the Jan. 6 select committee this month, Col. Earl Matthews – who held high-level National Security Council and Pentagon positions under Trump – accused Army General Charles Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt of being “absolute and unmitigated liars” for how they characterized the events of Jan. 6.
Of note, Flynn served as deputy chief of staff for operations on Jan. 6, while Matthews was serving as the top attorney to Maj. Gen. William Walker – then commanding general of the DC National Guard. Matthews was in a unique position to know what happened that day.
Matthews’ memo defends the Capitol attack response by Walker, who now serves as the House sergeant at arms, amplifying Walker’s previous congressional testimony about the hourslong delay in the military’s order for the D.C. National Guard to deploy to the riot scene. -Politico
Matthews accuses Flynn and Piatt of lying to Congress about how they responded to urgent requests for the DC guard to be quickly deployed, and claims that the Pentagon inspector general’s November report on the attack was “replete with factual inaccuracies.”
He says the Army has created its own ‘closely held’ revisionist document regarding the riot that’s “worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist.’
“Every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond and knew they could respond to the riot at the seat of government,” reads the memo.
Instead of responding, however, DC guard officials “set [sic] stunned watching in the Armory” while the attack unfolded for two hours during the certification of the 2020 election results.
The memo follows Walker’s own public call for the inspector general to retract its detailed report on the events of Jan. 6, as first reported by The Washington Post. Walker told the Post he objected to specific allegations by the Pentagon watchdog that Matthews’ memo also criticizes, calling the inspector general’s report “inaccurate” and “sloppy work.” -Politico
What actually went down, according to Matthews:
The memo says that at 2:30 p.m. on January 6, Matthews and Walker were on a conference call with senior military and law enforcement officials, in which then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund “pleaded” for the immediate deployment of the National Guard to the Capitol after rioters breached the perimeter.
Piatt and Flynn denied the request.
“LTG Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the D.C. National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time,” Matthews wrote, adding: “LTGs Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good.”
Instead, Piatt and Flynn suggested that the Guardsmen serve as de-facto DC police traffic control officers so that the cops could attend to the Capitol.
In another document obtained by Politico, Piatt and Flynn “recommended for DC Guard to standby” at 2:37 p.m. rather than immediately deploying to the Capitol during the riot.
Four minutes later, Flynn again “advised D.C. National Guard to standby until the request has been routed” to then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as well as then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller.
Matthews says everyone on the call was “astounded.”
Piatt and Flynn then lied to Congress – denying that they had said the Guard shouldn’t deploy to the Capitol.
According to Matthews, they committed “outright perjury.”
Read the rest of the report here, and Matthews’ memo here.
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