Army, Capitol Officials Disagree on Riot National Guard Deployment

Army, Capitol Officials Disagree on Riot National Guard Deployment protesters climb the wall of the capitol building after a stop the steal rally in washington dee sea (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 11 January 2021 10:13 PM

U.S. Army and Capitol police officials disagree about when National Guard help for Wednesday's insurrection was asked for and approved.

Outgoing Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund told The Washington Post on Sunday story that during a conference call with several law enforcement officials, at about 2:26 p.m. ET Wednesday he asked the Pentagon to provide backup.

Sund said senior Army official Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army Staff, replied he could not recommend Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to authorize deployment.

"I don't like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background," Piatt said, according to Sund and others on the call.

Piatt denied Monday saying that.

"I did not make the statement or any comments similar to what was attributed to me by Chief Sund in The Washington Post article," Piatt said in a Monday statement, per The Hill, "but would note that, even in his telling, he makes it clear that neither I, nor anyone else from [the Department of Defense], denied the deployment of requested personnel."

Piatt said "as soon as" McCarthy received the request from the Capitol Police to deploy the National Guard, "he ran to the acting Secretary of Defense's office to request approval."

Authorization to activate the National Guard came "approximately forty minutes after that [conference] call initiated," Piatt said.

The first National Guard personnel, however, did not arrive on the scene until 5:40 p.m. ET, after four of five deaths resulting from the riot had occurred

Sund said Sunday that security officials at the House and Senate rebuffed requests Jan. 4 to call in the National Guard before a rally in support of President Donald Trump. House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, according to Sund, was concerned with the "optics" of declaring an emergency ahead of the protests and rejected a National Guard presence.

Overall, Sund said he requested National Guard assistance six times ahead of and during the attack on the Capitol. Each of those requests was denied or delayed, he said, per The Washington Examiner.

Under pressure from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sund resigned his position, effective Jan. 16, on Thursday.