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National Guard Chief: Pentagon Brass Delayed Critical Deployment On Jan. 6

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commander of the National Guard in Washington, D.C., delivered disturbing new testimony on Wednesday about the delay in deployment of his forces during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Walker was prepared to send a large number of troops to the Capitol immediately at 1:49 p.m. when he received a "frantic" call for backup from then-Chief of the Capitol Police Steven Sund. Sund was desperate for support as his officers' perimeter had been breached by the mob of Trump supporters, gravely endangering members of Congress counting the votes of the Electoral College. Walker said Sund's voice was "cracking with emotion" and pleaded that there was a "dire emergency at the Capitol."

"He requested the immediate assistance of as many available National Guardsmen that I could muster," Walker said.



It wasn't until three hours and 19 minutes later that Walker would get permission from the Pentagon to deploy the troops, he said. Because D.C. is not a state, the district's National Guard is under the control of the president, who has delegated his command to the Department of Defense. Christopher Milley was serving as the acting secretary of the department after President Trump had removed Secretary Mark Esper following the 2020 election.

In the time between Sund's call to Walker and the arrival of the National Guard, rioter Ashli Babbitt was killed by an officer for breaching a barrier within the building separating the mob from the lawmakers. Officer Brian Sicknick of the Capitol Police was also killed in the clash with protesters, though the exact cause of his death remains unknown.

As the Capitol was breached, news media looked on with horror as the Capitol Police were overwhelmed, and people quickly began calling for the National Guard to intervene. But scattered reports indicated that there was an unexplained delay in their deployment, raising the disturbing prospect that political influence was responsible for denying Congress necessary protection.

Walker's testimony indicates that this was, indeed, the case.

"It required me to seek authorization from the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Defense to essentially protect my guardsmen," he said. In an "unusual memo," he said, "the Secretary of Defense, told me I needed his permission to escalate to have that kind of protection." During the previous summer's racial justice protests, Walker said, he had been able to get immediate approval to activate his forces.

And on a call with his supervisors after hearing Sund's pleas, the request was stalled: "The Army senior leaders did not think it would look good."

Other Pentagon officials have defended the response, saying the National Guard was activated as quickly as possible. Disputes about the exact timeline remain to be resolved.

"This is the D.C. National Guard that went from a cold start, and they had troops there in two and a half, three hours," Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on Monday. "They reacted faster than our most elite forces from a cold start."

But Walker contended that he was unnecessarily delayed and could have gotten about 150 troops out almost immediately.

"I would have had them assemble, and then get on buses and go straight to the armory and report to the most ranking Capitol Police officer they saw and take direction, and further," he said. "We could have helped extend the perimeter and push back the crowd."

It wasn't until 5:09 p.m., Walker said, that he was given permission to act. In less than 20 minutes, the National Guard arrived at the Capitol, where more than 100 officers had reportedly been injured.

Walker said that Army Gen. Charles Flynn, the brother of disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who advised Trump in his plots to overturn the 2020 election, was on the call and had pushed back against approving the request for the National Guard. The Army had initially denied that Flynn was on the call.

Capitol Rioter Who Assaulted Police Traveled On Turning Point USA Bus

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A retired firefighter who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers during the January 6 Capitol insurrection was put under pretrial house arrest on Tuesday. Robert Sanford had surrendered himself to federal authorities on multiple charges nearly a week after the insurrection. HuffPo's Ryan J. Reilly reported that according to Sanford's attorney, the defendant traveled to Washington, D.C., on a bus organized by Turning Point Action, founded by Trump loyalist Charlie Kirk.



Following the insurrection, Kirk deleted a January 4 tweet saying his organization was sending 80 buses of Trump supporters to the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6. A Turning Point Action spokesperson claimed that the organization had sent only seven buses to the capital and that the student protesters were not involved in the day's violence.

During his January 4 podcast, Kirk stated, "Turning Point Action is being financially supportive of that rally. We are sending buses."


Charlie Kirk:

He also said during that episode: "We are at Turning Point Action helping with the big event in Washington."


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In the weeks leading up to the insurrection, Kirk spread misinformation and dangerous rhetoric involving the attempted election coup. He called on former Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally discard state electors. He also criticized Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congratulating President Joe Biden on his election victory, saying, "You typically don't use the term 'congratulations' when someone just stole a bank."

After the attack on the Capitol, Kirk called the violence "bad judgment" and said it was "not wise," continuing, "However, 'not wise' does not mean you're an insurrectionist."

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House Cancels Thursday Session Due To Warnings Of Possible Capitol Attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives canceled a session scheduled for Thursday following law enforcement warnings of intelligence pointing to a possible plot by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. (Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

GOP Members Linked To Group Suspected Of Plotting New Assault On Capitol

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

CNN reported on Wednesday that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have warned of increased communication among extremist groups over a possible attack on the U.S. Capitol on March 4.

Believers in the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory have promoted the false claim that Donald Trump will reassume the presidency on March 4.

According to CNN, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett told members of the House of Representatives in a memo that the Capitol Police are enhancing security at the building in response but that there is no evidence of concrete plans for an attack.

"We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4," the Capitol Police noted in a press release. "We are taking the intelligence seriously."

One extremist group being monitored by intelligence agencies over increased chatter is the Three Percenters, a militia group that opposes efforts at gun safety reform. Their name is a reference to the historically false claim that only three percent of American colonists during the Revolutionary War took up arms against the British.

Multiple members of the Three Percenters have been charged by the FBI for allegedly taking part in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Three recently elected Republican members of the House have had affiliations with the group.

Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller, who is married to Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), was seen with a Three Percenter decal on his truck, which was on the grounds of the Capitol during the January 6 attack.

When reporters found out, Chris Miller claimed he did not know about the group until he "read about them" and claimed the story was "fake news."

In Dec. 2019, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) posed for a photo with gun rights activists, who made hand gestures in the photo associated with the Three Percenters. After the photo was reported on, Boebert deleted it from her Twitter account.

The same gesture was seen in a photo posted online Nov. 2018 with a group of men posing outside Shooters Grill, the establishment owned by Boebert that she has frequently referenced in speeches and campaign ads.

Boebert has used language similar to the militia, describing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as a "tyrant," and writing "I am the militia" in a post from June 2020.

In January, Boebert posted a photo of receiving a handgun as a gift. The man who presented her with the gun, Duke Everest, is wearing a Three Percenter emblem embroidered on his vest.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) referenced "the Three Percenter guys" in a 2019 video and praised them as "true Second Amendment supporters" and described herself as clapping for them at an event.

Speaking at a 2018 pro-Trump event in Washington, D.C., billed as the "Mother of All Rallies," Greene praised militias as groups who protect Americans against "a tyrannical government."

Neither Miller, Boebert, nor Greene responded to a request from the American Independent Foundation for a comment on this story.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.