REPORT: Army Rejected DC Government Request For Jan. 6 National Guard Help
Leadership of the U.S. Army initially rejected the request of Washington, D.C.’s government for the National Guard to help provide security in advance of the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that ended up inciting the deadly insurrectionist riot on Capitol Hill.
The Washington Post obtained an internal draft memo in which the Army said that National Guard troops shouldn’t be needed to deal with traffic and crowd management, as was requested by city officials, unless more than 100,000 demonstrators were expected to converge on the city.
Since the riot, one of the biggest national security failures since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pentagon officials have said that the Capitol Police and other federal agencies responsible for guarding U.S. government property in the District had never requested that the National Guard be put on standby in advance of the event. They previously had pointed to the supposed lack of advance request as the reason the delayed deployment of troops to the Capitol as the riot raged on. The memo uncovered by the Post, however, blows a huge hole in that argument.
Unlike in the 50 states, where the National Guard is under the direct command of the governor, the D.C. National Guard is under the command of the president. On the day of the riot, Trump never did issue an order to send troops to the Capitol to quell the unrest. Their deployment was the result of a phone call made by then Vice President Mike Pence, who had taken refuge after the insurrectionists had erected a gallows on the Hill and were threatening to hang him for not stopping the vote certification.