Officials Put ‘Unusual’ Limits on D.C. National Guard Before Riot, Commander Says


“I keep thinking of the hours that went by, and the people who were injured and the officers whose lives were changed forever,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and the chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee. “We must get to the bottom of why, that very day, it took the Defense Department so long to deploy the Guard.”

After hearing General Walker’s testimony, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the top Republican on the committee, told reporters he wanted to hear from higher-ranking military officials.

“Certainly we’ll have questions for Secretary McCarthy and for acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller,” Mr. Blunt said. “It’s definitely going to require an opportunity to ask them questions about their view from their perspective of why this decision-making process went so horribly wrong.”

The testimony came at the latest bipartisan investigative hearing of the Homeland Security and Rules Committees. At a hearing last week, Chief Robert J. Contee III of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington testified that he was “stunned” at the slow deployment of the National Guard on Jan. 6, noting that even as the violence escalated, the Army had expressed reluctance to send troops.

At that hearing, the first joint oversight meeting of the two committees, three former top Capitol security officials deflected responsibility for failures that contributed to the riot, blaming the other agencies, one another and at one point even a subordinate for the breakdowns that allowed hundreds of Trump supporters to storm the Capitol.

The officials testified that the F.B.I. and the intelligence community had failed to provide adequate warnings that rioters planned to seize the Capitol and that the Pentagon was too slow to authorize Guard troops to help overwhelmed police forces after the attack began.


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