Where Was The Guard On January 6th?

What follows is the annotated testimony to Congress by the Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard regarding the events of January 6th at the U.S. Capitol and his explanation of the Guard’s delay in responding.  It is lengthy, but I think you’ll find it interesting and worth the few minutes spent to read it.  Thanks to Seth Abramson at Proof for providing both the transcript and annotations.


Annotated Testimony of William J. Walker, Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard, Before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Senate Rules and Administration Committees

Proper names and substantive highlights of this critical March 3, 2021 opening statement—focused on the January 6 insurrection—are bolded in the text below.

William-J-Walker

“Good morning, Chairman [Michigan senator Gary] Peters and Chairwoman [Minnesota senator Amy] Klobuchar, Ranking Members [Ohio senator Rob] Portman and [Missouri senator Roy] Blunt, and members of the Committees. I am Major General William J. Walker and I serve as the Commanding General for the District of Columbia National Guard, affectionately known as the Capital Guardians. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the events of January 6—a dark chapter in our nation’s history.

I was sickened by the violence and destruction I witnessed that fateful day and the physical and mental harm that came to the U.S. Capitol Police officers and MPD [the Metropolitan Police Department of D.C.], some of whom I met with later that evening and I could see the injuries they sustained. It is my hope that my recollection of events and presentation of the facts as I know them will help your Committees in its investigation and prevent such tragic events from ever occurring again.

First, I think it is critical to understand what the D.C. National Guard’s mission was on January 6, to include what civilian agency we were supporting and how requests for support of other civilian authorities were handled.

On December 31, 2020, the D.C. National Guard [PROOF annotation: later “DCNG”] received written requests from District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and her Director of D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Dr. Christopher Rodriguez. The requests sought D.C. National Guard support for traffic control and crowd management for planned demonstrations in DC from January 5 through [January] 6.

After conducting mission analysis to support the District request, I sent a letter to then Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, dated January 1, requesting approval. I received approval in a letter dated January 5 from Secretary McCarthy granting support of the MPD with 340 total personnel to include 40 personnel assigned to a Quick Reaction Force.

{PROOF annotation: Note that it took four days before Trump’s Pentagon responded to the Democratic leadership of D.C., meaning that the District got “approval” for National Guard assistance on one of the very two days it had urgently asked for help on—January 5. Not only did this approval come too late for January 5 aid, it left under 24 hours for aid for January 6 to be readied.}

The DCNG provides support to MPD, the U.S. Park Police, U.S. Secret Service and other District and federal law enforcement agencies in response to planned rallies, marches, protests and other large scale first amendment activity on a routine basis.

{PROOF annotation: As previously noted at PROOF, in a January 7 video Stop the Steal organizer Alex Jones claimed that he was in contact with the U.S. Secret Service prior to January 6 about leading the march to the Capitol after Trump’s speech at the White House Ellipse, with the explanation by Jones that then-president Donald Trump himself—as Trump would ultimately declare publicly during his speech at the Ellipse—would be speaking at the event Jones and his “movement” had orchestrated for midday at the Capitol steps. Per Jones, the Secret Service therefore needed to coordinate the logistics of the event. Mysteriously, there is no evidence as yet of the Secret Service at any point contacting other law enforcement agencies to alert them to Trump’s likely presence at the Capitol and the security implications thereof. And yet, beyond Trump’s own public statement on January 6 there is ample evidence that events did indeed unfold as Jones now claims. Jones says he was put in the VIP section of Trump’s audience to more easily be moved to the head of the post-speech march, and so he was; Jones is on video on January 6 repeatedly telling Trump voters that Trump is headed to the Capitol; Jones’ Stop the Steal co-organizer Ali Alexander, who has since repeatedly said he was coordinating with Trump allies in Congress—including Reps. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks, as well as Trump adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle—appears on video on January 6 having the same belief as Jones that the Secret Service would be bringing Trump to the Capitol. Congress now desperately needs to speak to the Secret Service about these odd discrepancies.}

A standard component of such support is the stand up of an offsite Quick Reaction Force (QRF), an element of guardsmen held in reserve equipped with civil disturbance response equipment (helmets, shields, batons, etc.) and postured to quickly respond to an urgent and immediate need for assistance by civilian authorities. The Secretary of the Army’s January 5 letter withheld authority for me to employ the Quick Reaction Force.

{PROOF annotation: So not only did Trump’s Pentagon take four days to respond to the Democratic officials running D.C.—making it impossible for that response to address the security situation in the Capitol on January 5 and virtually impossible for it to address the security situation on January 6—but it also, when it finally responded, denied the chief request the District’s Democratic leadership had made.}

In addition, the Secretary of the Army’s memorandum to me required that a “concept of operation” (CONOP) be submitted to him before any employment of the QRF. I found that requirement to be unusual as was the requirement to seek approval to move Guardsmen supporting MPD to move from one traffic control point to another.

{PROOF annotation: The actions of Trump’s Pentagon were irregular, and consistently irregular in the same direction: making it harder for any assets under the control of the Trump administration to be used to defend the Capitol from a Trumpist assault on either January 5 or January 6.}

Beginning at 1:30PM [on January 6, 2021], we watched as MPD began to deploy all available resources in support of the Capitol Police. In doing so, the officers began to withdraw from the traffic control points that were jointly manned with D.C. Guardsmen.

At 1:49PM [on January 6, 2021] I received a frantic call from then Chief of U.S. Capitol Police, Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter at the Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters. Chief Sund, his voice cracking with emotion, indicated that there was a dire emergency on Capitol Hill and requested the immediate assistance of as many Guardsmen as I could muster.

{PROOF annotation: It is now clear that when Capitol Police issued an urgent request for help on January 6, there was absolutely no chance help would be forthcoming in any timely fashion—not because of delays on January 6, though there were many—but primarily because of the actions Trump’s Pentagon had taken prior to January 6 in taking so long to respond to Democratic officials in the District and then denying them the sort of aid those officials had every reason to expect. Media’s exclusive focus on January 6 itself continues to be misplaced; so much of what happened on January 6 was inevitable based on what had happened prior to January 6. In particular, the fact that Trump had installed loyalists Kash Patel and Ezra-Cohen Watnick immediately after learning he’d lost the November 2020 election, and that these two men were essentially controlling Trump defense secretary Chris Miller in the days before the insurrection according to Vanity Fair, have produced a significant concern that Trump and his agents coordinated the Pentagon’s refusal of Democratic officials’ urgent pleas both before and during the insurrection.}

Immediately after the 1:49PM call with Chief [Steven] Sund, I alerted the Army Senior Leadership of the request. The approval for Chief Sund’s request would eventually come from the Acting Secretary of Defense and be relayed to me by Army Senior Leaders at 5:08PM—3 hours and 19 minutes later. We already had Guardsmen on buses ready to move to the Capitol. Consequently, at 5:20PM—in under 20 minutes—the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol. We helped to re-establish the security perimeter at the east side of the Capitol to facilitate the resumption of the Joint Session of Congress.

{PROOF annotation: This is stunning. Commander Walker is saying that had he received approval from the Pentagon at 1:49PM on January 6, he could have had Guardsmen at the Capitol by somewhere between 2:05PM and 2:08PM—in time to quell the worst of the insurrection—but instead he heard nothing from Miller, Patel, and Cohen-Watnick, the Trump Pentagon power center, until 5:08PM. Meanwhile, the boss of Mssrs. Miller, Patel, and Cohen-Watnick, was gleefully watching events from the White House and refusing to contact his men at the Pentagon. There is no chance that Miller, Patel, and Cohen-Watnick would have missed the clear signal from (at the very least) Trump’s silence, if not some White House communication we don’t yet know about: don’t do anything until I tell you. By the time the Pentagon acted, Trump had issued public statements about wanting the insurrectionists to leave the Capitol grounds. It was only then that his men at the Pentagon responded to the urgent pleas for aid from the Capitol.}

In conclusion, I am grateful for the Guardsmen from the 53 states and territories who supported [the] D.C. National Guard’s OPERATION CAPITOL RESPONSE {PROOF annotation: all-caps in original} and ensured a peaceful transition of power on January 20, [2021]. In particular, I am grateful for the timely assistance of our close neighbors from the Virginia [National Guard], Delaware [National Guard], and Maryland National Guard who augmented our D.C. National Guard forces in establishing a security perimeter.

I am honored to lead these citizen Soldiers and Airmen—your constituents—many of whom have left behind their families, careers, education and businesses, to ensure the protection and safety of the U.S. Capitol and those who serve in it.

Thank you again for the opportunity to brief you today. I look forward to any questions you may have.”

{PROOF annotation: Commander Walker’s subsequent testimony before these two Senate committees—meeting in an unusual joint session—is equally damning. Most notably, Walker says that the process to get troop deployments approved and troops in place took “minutes” during the Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020, but hours when Trump voters were storming the U.S. Capitol. This disparity is further evidence of misconduct inside Trump’s Pentagon, as was the fact that the Pentagon brought former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn’s brother Charles Flynn into the chain of command on that day despite him not being in the regular chain of command—and then lied about it publicly. It remains unclear what role Patel, Cohen-Watnick, or Flynn played in creating a massive delay in responding to violence at the Capitol that they had reason to know their boss, Donald Trump, was overjoyed to see.}

14 thoughts on “Where Was The Guard On January 6th?

  1. IF General Walker can be believed, and right now I retain the option to disbelieve anyone connected with this boondoggle, so if he can be believed, then Pentagon generals have to be held to task, even if they were following orders given by the [sick] Commander-in-Chief, who is definitely guilty of treason against the United States, and should be put in solitary in Guantanamo Bay detention centre, for life.
    Or, are firing squads still around?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I fully believe General Walker, for everything he says not only makes sense, but has been corroborated by others and by irrefutable facts. The three at the Pentagon who were responsible for delaying assistance are now gone from the Pentagon, and that is likely as good as it will get. I’d love to see Trump, Miller, and the other two behind bars, but realistically we both know that ain’t gonna happen. Nope, no firing squads … well, unless we’re talking about South Carolina, where they just added ‘firing squad’ to their list of execution methods. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      Like

      • Is South Caroline that backward, or just moving farther backward? This begs the question, how many states still have the death penalty.
        Canada will not send a prisoner, no matter his nationality, back to an American court if the death penalty is on the table. I would hope Americans are working to get rid of the death penalty everywhere in the nation, including places like Puerto Rico.

        Like

  2. Can there still be any doubt that some or all of the insurrectionists were to be given time to get Trump#s revenge for him and prevent the count which might get him another chance to overturn the vote?
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

      • There is an investigation underway to trace any collusion between lawmakers and insurrectionists I would imagine the Democrats would be anxious to prosecute anyone found to have contributed in any way to that day, and so they should. At the end of the day, anyone involved also bears a share of the guilt for the deaths.
        Cwtch

        Liked by 2 people

        • I agree … both those who actively participated, as well as those who planned, plotted, then watched from afar must be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. Personally, I think every last one should spend the next 20 years in prison, but we both know that’s about as likely as me sprouting wings and flying to the moon. Sigh.
          Cwtch

          Liked by 2 people

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