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‘Absolute liars’: Ex-D.C. Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan. 6

On Jan. 6, Matthews was serving as the highest legal professional to Maj. Gen. William Walker, then commanding normal of the D.C. Nationwide Guard. Matthews’ memo defends the Capitol assault response by Walker, who now serves because the Home sergeant at arms, amplifying Walker’s earlier congressional testimony about the hourslong delay within the navy’s order for the D.C. Nationwide Guard to deploy to the riot scene.

“Each chief within the D.C. Guard needed to reply and knew they might reply to the riot on the seat of presidency” earlier than they got clearance to accomplish that on Jan. 6, Matthews’ memo reads. As a substitute, he mentioned, D.C. guard officers “set [sic] surprised watching within the Armory” throughout the first hours of the assault on Congress throughout its certification of the 2020 election outcomes.

Matthews’ memo ranges main accusations: that Flynn and Piatt lied to Congress about their response to pleas for the D.C. Guard to rapidly be deployed on Jan. 6; that the Pentagon inspector normal’s November report on Military management’s response to the assault was “replete with factual inaccuracies”; and that the Military has created its personal carefully held revisionist doc about the Capitol riot that’s “worthy of the very best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist.”

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The memo follows Walker’s personal public name for the inspector normal to retract its detailed report on the occasions of Jan. 6, as first reported by The Washington Post. Walker advised the Publish he objected to particular allegations by the Pentagon watchdog that Matthews’ memo additionally criticizes, calling the inspector normal’s report “inaccurate” and “sloppy work.”

Reached for touch upon Matthews’ memo, Walker, the previous head of the D.C. Guard, mentioned the report speaks for itself and that he had nothing additional to add. A Jan. 6 committee spokesperson declined to remark.

The brand new memo from Matthews, who now serves within the Military reserves, emerges as officers concerned within the response that day strive to clarify their decision-making to investigators. The Home choose committee has probed the assault for months, and earlier this 12 months high officers testified earlier than the Home oversight panel.

Reached for remark, Matthews mentioned the memo he wrote is totally correct. “Our Military has by no means failed us and didn’t accomplish that on January 6, 2021,” he mentioned. “Nonetheless, often a few of our Military leaders have failed us they usually did so on January sixth. Then they lied about it and tried to cowl it up. They tried to smear man and to erase historical past.”

Flynn, now the commanding normal of the U.S. Military Pacific, and Piatt did not reply to messages. Military spokesperson Mike Brady mentioned in a press release that the service’s “actions on January sixth have been well-documented and reported on, and Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt have been open, trustworthy and thorough of their sworn testimony with Congress and DOD investigators.”

“Because the Inspector Basic concluded, actions taken ‘had been applicable, supported by necessities, in keeping with the DOD’s roles and obligations for DSCA, and compliant with legal guidelines, laws, and different relevant steerage,” Brady added. “We stand by all testimony and information offered to date, and vigorously reject any allegations to the opposite. Nonetheless, with the January sixth Fee’s investigation nonetheless ongoing, it will be inappropriate to remark additional.”

A 2:30 cellphone name

Matthews’ memo begins by specializing in a 2:30 p.m. convention name on Jan. 6 that included senior navy and regulation enforcement officers, himself and Walker amongst them. Then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund “pleaded” on the decision for the instant deployment of the Nationwide Guard to the Capitol, Matthews recalled, saying that rioters had breached the constructing’s perimeter. Walker has also told Congress that Sund made that plea then. In accordance to Matthews, Flynn and Piatt each opposed the transfer.

On the time, Piatt was the director of Military employees, one of many high generals within the Pentagon, and Flynn was the Military’s director of operations. The 2 males had been the highest-ranking Military officers who spoke on the two:30 name, in accordance to Matthews.

“LTG Piatt said that it will not be his greatest navy recommendation to advocate to the Secretary of the Military that the D.C. Nationwide Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at the moment,” Matthews wrote, including: “LTGs Piatt and Flynn said that the optics of getting uniformed navy personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol wouldn’t be good.”

Piatt and Flynn urged as an alternative that Guardsmen take over D.C. law enforcement officials’ visitors duties so these officers may head to the Capitol, Matthews continues.

As well as to Matthews’ memo, POLITICO additionally obtained a doc produced by a D.C. Guard official and dated Jan. 7 that lays out a timeline of Jan. 6. The D.C. Guard timeline, a separate doc whose creator took notes throughout the name, additionally mentioned that Piatt and Flynn at 2:37 p.m. “really useful for DC Guard to standby,” quite than instantly deploying to the Capitol throughout the riot.

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4 minutes later, in accordance to that Guard timeline, Flynn once more “suggested D.C. Nationwide Guard to standby till the request has been routed” to then-Military Secretary Ryan McCarthy and then-acting Protection Secretary Chris Miller.

Everybody on the decision was “astounded” besides Piatt and Flynn, Matthews wrote.

Each males, nevertheless, later denied to Congress that they’d mentioned the Guard shouldn’t deploy to the Capitol.

In response to a written query from Home Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in June about whether or not Piatt suggested anybody within the Guard’s chain of command not to deploy immediately to the Capitol, Piatt wrote, “At no level on January 6 did I inform anybody that the D.C. Nationwide Guard shouldn’t deploy immediately to the Capitol.”

That assertion, Matthews says in his memo, is “false and deceptive.”

Walker also testified to Congress in March that Piatt and Flynn expressed considerations about “optics.”

Additional, Flynn told Maloney that he “by no means expressed a priority about the visuals, picture, or public notion of” sending Guardsmen to the Capitol.

That reply, Matthews says in his memo, is “outright perjury.”

Matthews wrote that he and Walker “heard Flynn establish himself and unmistakably heard him say that optics of a Nationwide Guard presence on Capitol Hill was a problem for him. That it will not look good. Both Piatt or Flynn talked about ‘peaceable protestors.’”

Flynn’s brother, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, promulgated a bunch of conspiracy theories within the lead-up to Jan. 6 and referred to as for former President Donald Trump to impose martial regulation. Matthews’ memo doesn’t insinuate that Gen. Charles Flynn’s actions on Jan. 6 had been formed by his brother, who has been subpoenaed by the choose committee, and doesn’t point out Michael Flynn.

The 2 generals advised the Home oversight committee that the Guard wasn’t ready to reply to the chaos that day, and Flynn testified to the House Oversight Committee in June {that a} “staff of over 40 officers and non-commissioned officers instantly labored to recall the 154 D.C. Nationwide Guard personnel from their present missions, reorganize them, re-equip them, and start to redeploy them to the Capitol.”

Matthews says that assertion “constituted the willful deception of Congress.”

“If it doesn’t represent the willful and deliberate deceptive of Congress, then nothing does,” Matthews wrote of Flynn’s assertion. “Flynn was referring to 154 D.C. Guardsmen who had been already on obligation, had been skilled in civil disturbance response, already had space familiarization with Washington, DC, had been correctly kitted and had been delayed solely due to inaction and inertia on the Pentagon.”

In different phrases, Matthews signifies, the concept that it took 40 officers to get 154 Nationwide Guard personnel prepared to go to the Capitol beggars perception.

Each D.C. Guard chief was determined to get to the Capitol to assist, Matthews writes — then surprised by the delay in deployment. Responding to civil unrest in Washington is “a foundational mission, a statutory mission of the D.C. Nationwide Guard,” his memo notes.

“Their angle was ‘That is What We Do.’ ‘Ship Me,’” the memo continues.

It provides that the earlier summer season, when civil unrest unfolded within the wake of the police homicide of George Floyd, the D.C. Guard was deployed quite a few instances to defend federal buildings. Its belated mobilization on Jan. 6, Matthews continues, was a jarring break from the norm.

Importantly, Matthews’ memo alone paints an incomplete image of how the Military’s high management responded to Jan. 6. Matthews signifies he didn’t have firsthand information of what the Military Secretary was doing for a lot of the afternoon — and, in reality, says D.C. Nationwide Guard leaders at instances had hassle discovering him.

The place was Ryan McCarthy?

Whereas taking challenge with the Pentagon watchdog’s timeline concerning the actions and involvement of key figures within the response, Matthews’ memo seeks to illustrate errors within the Pentagon inspector normal report launched final month.

That report states that McCarthy had to name Walker twice on Jan. 6 to order him to deploy the D.C. Guard. Matthews’ memo calls this “an outrageous assertion … as insulting as it’s false,” and says McCarthy himself was “incommunicado or unreachable for many of the afternoon.”

The inspector normal’s report says McCarthy arrived on the D.C. Metropolitan Police Division at 4:05 p.m., and that “witnesses advised us that not having heard from MG Walker concerning any particular plan.” McCarthy and others current, together with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, themselves drafted a complete plan for the Guard’s deployment, in accordance to the Pentagon watchdog.

The report additional says that quickly afterward, Miller and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, reviewed that plan over the cellphone. Miller approved the deployment of the D.C. Guard and McCarthy knowledgeable Walker of it throughout a name at 4:35 p.m; McCarthy then held a press conference with the D.C. mayor and referred to as Walker once more to reissue the order that he deploy the Guard, in accordance to the Pentagon inspector normal.

Matthews challenges that Jan. 6 timetable in his memo. He writes that D.C. Guard leaders “nonetheless haven’t seen this so-called plan developed by McCarthy and allegedly authorised by Performing Secretary Miller at 4:32PM.” He provides that the concept that the Military secretary would give Guard personnel assist for tactical planning and coordination is “patently absurd.”

Walker, in the meantime, has mentioned no name occurred between him and McCarthy at 4:35 p.m. The D.C. Guard’s Jan. 6 timeline — produced whereas Walker helmed the D.C. Nationwide Guard — doesn’t doc any cellphone name between McCarthy and Walker at 4:35.

Each McCarthy and Miller declined to remark.

Megan Reed, a spokesperson for the Pentagon inspector normal, mentioned their workplace stands by its report.

‘Stalinist Propaganda’

Matthews’ memo additionally properties in on a doc that Military officers have referenced however by no means totally revealed, titled “Report of the Military’s Operations on January 6 2021.” In Matthews’ view, it lays out a fabricated timeline in a bid to burnish the Military’s repute.

In accordance to Matthews, Piatt helped produce the doc after a collection of bruising congressional hearings and information stories that broken the reputations of Military senior management — amongst them, a Washington Publish report that the Military falsely denied Flynn’s participation within the 2:30 p.m. cellphone name.

“In March 2021, MG Walker was advised by a pal that LTG Piatt was so upset with MG Walker that he directed the event of an Military ‘White Paper’ to retell occasions of 6 January in a lightweight extra favorable to LTGs Flynn, Piatt, Secretary McCarthy and the Military Workers,” Matthews writes.

The Military Workers in the end sought “to create an alternate historical past which might be the Military’s official recollection of occasions,” Matthews continues, including: “The top product, a revisionist tract worthy of the very best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist, was shut maintain,” stored secret from the general public.

However members of Congress have seen the doc. Piatt referenced it throughout a Home Oversight Committee hearing in June when requested about conflicting recollections of the afternoon of Jan. 6.

“I might refer to the U.S. Military Report of Operations on January 6 that we submitted to this committee,” Piatt advised lawmakers. “What the D.C. Nationwide Guard did in these quick hours was extraordinary. Now when folks’s lives are on the road, two minutes is just too lengthy. However we weren’t positioned to reply to that pressing request. We had to re-prepare so we might ship them in ready for … this new mission.”

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