DOD Watchdog: Pentagon Didn’t Delay Aid to Capitol on Jan. 6

DOD Watchdog: Pentagon Didn't Delay Aid to Capitol on Jan. 6 aerial view of pentagon (Dreamstime)

By Fran Beyer | Wednesday, 17 November 2021 02:15 PM

The Pentagon did not delay requests for National Guard troops and responded appropriately during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a Defense Department inspector general probe has found.

Former Defense Secretary Chris Miller and former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy acted reasonably in "light of the circumstances that existed on that day" to send additional soldiers more than three hours after calls for help poured in from local and federal officials, the IG report concluded, Military.com reported.

The IG report was released Tuesday.

In March, the commanding general of the D.C. Guard, Maj. Gen. William Walker, testified to the Senate that the Pentagon delayed unnecessarily in responding to a request for assistance from the overwhelmed U.S. Capitol Police, and kept help from arriving for hours when it could have arrived in minutes.

The IG found no evidence to support the claim, Military.com reported.

"We also determined that [Department of Defense] officials did not delay or obstruct the DoD's response" to the Capitol Police request for assistance Jan. 6, according to the report.

The IG also concluded there was appropriate and lawful preparation for the large rally then-President Donald Trump held that day.

"We looked for a role or responsibility for the DoD to act preemptively to prevent or deter what later happened at the Capitol. We found none," the independent watchdog concluded.

As the attack on the Capitol unfolded, the Pentagon and D.C. National Guard began receiving calls for support and immediate assistance beginning at 1:49 p.m., according to the IG, who interviewed top military, U.S. Capitol Police, and district officials, and reviewed reams of documents, call logs, and emails to piece together the events, Military.com reported.

Guard troops coming on duty after a deployment plan was approved left the D.C. Armory east of the Capitol at 5:15 p.m. and moved to the Capitol Police headquarters, where they were sworn in as special policemen.

"The response force then moved to the Capitol, arriving at 5:55 p.m., and joined civilian law enforcement personnel in reinforcing the perimeter and clearing the Capitol grounds," the IG reported.

McCarthy, who resigned two weeks after the riot, criticized the overall planning leading up to Jan. 6 and blamed a system that was "overly bureaucratic" in a CNN interview in January.

Miller told House members in May that he stood by all of his decisions on the day of the Capitol attack.