The commander for Washington DC’s National Guard has said that Trump officials at the Pentagon restricted his ability to respond to the Capitol riots on 6 January.
Maj. Gen. William J. Walker told the Washington Post on Tuesday that his authority as a commander – which typically allows him to deploy National Guard troops in an emergency – was essentially removed prior to the riot by the former president’s supporters.
The Pentagon had required higher level sign-off for any National Guard deployment on the day the attack on the US Capitol took place, amid other powers, Gen. Walker told the Post.
All military commanders normally have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions — federal property and life,” Gen. Walker said. “But in this instance I did not have that authority.”
He added that the request by the Pentagon meant there was a delay to deploying troops, and that he was unable to immediately respond to a phone call from the now-former Capitol Police chief, Steven Stund, who warned that supporters of Mr Trump were about to breach the Capitol.
Mr Sund resigned from his position after the riot, which left five people dead. As did the House Sergeant at Arms has told and Michael Stenger, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, who are also responsible for securing Congress.