Ex-DC Guard Leaders Push Back Against Army Jan. 6 Report

  • Two former top National Guard officials are pushing back against an Army report on the January 6 response.
  • The Army report said the DC Guard wasn’t prepared to respond to the Capitol riot.
  • “It’s whole fiction,” Col. Earl Matthews, a former top lawyer for the DC Guard, told Politico.

Two former DC National Guard leaders are pushing back against the US Army’s report about the Pentagon’s response to the Capitol riot, Politico reported.

Published in March of this year, the 20-page internal report obtained by Politico included a timeline of the planning and preparation by federal law enforcement to respond to the Capitol.

“On January 6, the DCNG was postured to conduct a small traffic and crowd control mission in support of MPD and DC FEMS, and had no indication that anything further would be request of the DCNG,” the report says.

“As soon as they were notified of the severity of the situation [at the] Capitol, at approximately 1425 hours, Army senior leaders worked relentlessly to develop an understanding of the situation, plan the new mission of the DCNG — which involved inserting the DCNG into a chaotic and dangerous environment — and gain Acting SecDef approval to conduct CDO,” the report continued.

Sergeant at Arms William Walker, then Major General with the National Guard said the Guard didn’t need the Army to create the plan.

“I didn’t need them to create a plan for me and I still haven’t seen this plan they created,” Walker said. “Where’s the plan?”

Shortly before 4 p.m. local time on January 6, the DC National Guard “had yet to develop a plan” to support Metropolitan Police officers and US Capitol Police officers responding to the scene, according to the Army report.

The report went on to say that top Army officials were in communication with DC Guard leaders to develop a plan to deploy National Guard troops to the Capitol.

But Walker said some of those communications never happened, according to Politico. In the Army report, a call between then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Walker took place at 2:25 p.m., in which McCarthy asked Walker how fast the Guard’s Quick Response Force could respond to the situation at the Capitol.

Walker responded that it would be ready to go in about 20 minutes, according to the report.

But Walker told Politico that that conversation never happened, including two later calls with Army officials. He also claimed that Guard troops were ready to respond, contrary to the internal report.

“That call didn’t happen,” he said of the 3 p.m. call in the report, in which McCarthy directed Walker to prepare troops to deploy to the Capitol. “I would never have to prepare [Guardsmen] to move. I would just order them to move. And they already had the equipment.”

Col. Earl Matthews, a former top lawyer for the DC Guard, refuted the report, calling it “whole fiction.” Matthews added that he and Walker were not allowed to see the Army report, and Matthews said Guard members were not consulted in the drafting of the report.

Earlier this week, Matthews sent a memo to the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot pushing back on the Army’s narrative of their January 6 response, first reported by Politico.

“Guardsmen who were already on duty, were trained in civil disturbance response, already had area familiarization with Washington, DC, were properly kitted and were delayed only because of inaction and inertia at the Pentagon,” he wrote in his memo.

Walker and Matthews also accused two Army generals of not being forthright to members of Congress, claiming it was an attempt to cover up a decision to withhold troops from responding to the January 6 insurrection.

Representatives for the National Guard and the Army respectively did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

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