The generals claimed in their testimonies before the 6 January Select House Committee that they did not hinder the deployment of the DC National Guard needed to stop the protesters who broke into the Capitol.
Former DC National Guard official Colonel Earl Matthews has lambasted the testimonies of two Pentagon generals before the House 6 January Committee, calling them “absolute and unmitigated liars” over their statements regarding the events at the Capitol. Matthews served as the top attorney for the DC National Guard’s then-commanding General William Walker.
In a lengthy memo, Matthews accused General Charles Flynn, ex-deputy chief of staff for operations, and Lieutenant General Walter Piatt, the director of army staff, of distorting the facts about the events and their actions on 6 January. The author of the memo namely challenged their claims about not discouraging the Army from deploying the DC National Guard to quell the unrest.
“LTG Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the DC National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time. LTGs Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good”, the ex-DC National Guard official said.
The former official also challenged the Pentagon’s inspector general report on the events of 6 January, arguing that it was “replete with factual inaccuracies” and protected a top official in the Department of Defense who opposed the deployment of National Guard forces. He slammed the report as being “worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist”.
Matthews went on to accuse the generals of seeking to rewrite the history of the capitol unrest with their testimonies before the 6 January Committee.
“Every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond and knew they could respond to the riot at the seat of government. [DC National Guard officials instead] set [sic] stunned watching in the Armory”, he wrote in the memo.
The ex-National Guard official also defended the performance of his former boss, William Walker, on 6 January and his testimony that showed that there had been an hours-long delay between the request for the deployment and the actual order to send in the DC National Guard to the Capitol.
Walker himself also criticized the report by the Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General about those events, calling the result of the work “inaccurate” and “sloppy”. The report insisted that the actions taken by the Army personnel were “appropriate, supported by requirements, consistent with the DOD’s roles and responsibilities”.
Several people testified repeatedly requesting the Pentagon and the National Guard to deploy forces to the Capitol on 6 January, but having to wait for hours before the troops arrived. The deployment became necessary after numerous US lawmakers, who gathered on that day to certify the 2020 election results, had to seek shelter or evacuate after an angry mob of Trump supporters managed to break into the Congress building. Dissatisfied with the loss of their favorite candidate, they wanted to make the lawmakers “recount” the votes.
The Democrats, who were behind the creation of the 6 January investigative committee, insist that then-President Donald Trump had incentivized the aggressive protesters, even though he was among the first to denounce their actions. The ex-GOP president, in turn, lambasted the work of the committee, calling it another “witch hunt” targeting him.