Ex-National Guard official says Army generals lied to Congress, alleging cover-up of decision to withhold troops from the Capitol on Jan. 6

  • In Politics
  • 2021-12-06 14:24:14Z
  • By Business Insider
National Guard US Capitol January 6 Capitol siege riot protest
National Guard US Capitol January 6 Capitol siege riot protest  
  • In a new memo, Col. Earl Matthews said Army generals declined to send DC Guardsmen to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

  • Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt and Gen. Charles Flynn later lied to Congress about that, Matthews said.

  • Matthews called the two generals "absolute and unmitigated liars."

A former official with the District of Columbia National Guard has accused two US Army generals of lying to Congress about their decision to withhold troops from the Capitol on January 6, and suggested an Army cover-up of their actions on the day.

The claims were made in a memo submitted on December 1 by Col. Earl Matthews to the House January 6 commission, a copy of which was obtained by Politico. At the time of the Capitol riot, Matthews was the top attorney to Maj. Gen. William Walker, then the commanding general of the DC National Guard.

In the memo, Matthews wrote that Walker held a call with military and law-enforcement leaders at 2:30 p.m. on January 6 - about 90 minutes after Capitol security was first breached.

In the meeting, then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund asked Gen. Charles Flynn, then the deputy chief of staff for operations at the US Army, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, then the director of Army staff, to grant permission for the DC National Guard to intervene on the Capitol, Matthews said.

According to Matthews, Piatt and Flynn said they didn't think it was a good idea.

"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," Matthews wrote in the memo.

"Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the US Capitol would not be good."

Instead, Matthews wrote, the duo suggested that DC Guardsmen be sent to take over Washington, DC, police traffic duties so that those police officers could be sent to help at the Capitol complex instead.

However, in their testimony to Congress, Piatt and Flynn said that they did not say Guardsmen shouldn't go to the Capitol.

"At no point on January 6 did I tell anyone that the DC National Guard should not deploy directly to the Capitol," Piatt told the House Oversight Committee on June 15.

During the same hearing, Flynn told lawmakers that he "never expressed a concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of" sending Guardsmen to the Capitol.

Matthews called Piatt and Flynn "absolute and unmitigated liars" in his memo.

The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Trump Jan 6
Trump Jan 6  

In his memo, Matthews said the Army had written its own fabricated version of events for January 6, titled "Report of the Army's Operations on January 6 2021."

According to Matthews, Piatt "directed the development of an Army 'White Paper' to retell events of 6 January in a light more favorable to LTGs Flynn, Piatt, Secretary McCarthy and the Army Staff."

Matthews said the aim of the document was "to create an alternate history which would be the Army's official recollection of events."

Matthews called the end product "a revisionist tract worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist."


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