Former Acting Defense Chief to Testify on Jan. 6 Response

Former Acting Defense Chief to Testify on Jan. 6 Response Former Acting Defense Chief to Testify on Jan. 6 Response (Stefani Reynolds/Getty)

By Newsmax Staff | Monday, 10 May 2021 04:06 PM

Former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller is scheduled to testify next week about the Pentagon's role in responding to the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol.

Miller is expected to appear Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee alongside former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and District of Columbia Police Chief Robert Contee III in a hearing titled, "The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions."

It is one of several Jan. 6-related hearings scheduled for next week.

Miller was appointed to lead the Pentagon after the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Axios notes that Miller has said he believes President Donald Trump's speech on Jan. 6 at the National Mall inspired the attack on the Capitol.

Trump and his legal team at his second impeachment trial have denied any connection, saying those who engaged in violence showed up prepared to do so before he made the speech.

Five people, including one Capitol Police officer died during the attack. Officer Brian Sicknick and two protesters' deaths were ruled natural causes, while one protester was trampled and protester Ashli Babbitt was shot by a Capitol Police officer.

Miller will almost certainly be asked to respond to complaints raised at previous hearings that the Defense Department took too long to dispatch the National Guard to the Capitol despite pleas for extra assistance from the Capitol Police several hours earlier.

Army and Pentagon leaders have repeatedly denied any efforts to delay or deny the Guard response, and say the movement of the troops was approved quickly but took time to actually complete. Guard members were scattered around the city posted at intersections, and they had to return to the armory, get riot gear and other equipment, get their new orders and explanation of their new mission before they were sent to the Capitol.

Miller denied in a Vice News interview in March that the response was unduly slow, saying, "It comes back to understanding how the military works." He said "this isn't a video game," adding "it's not 'Black Ops Call of Duty.'"

Other hearings set for next week are House Administration Committee sessions with Capitol Police inspector general Michael Bolton, whose latest Jan. 6-related report focused on the agency's counter-surveillance authorities as well as threats made against lawmakers, and Christopher Failla, the architect of the Capitol.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat and chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said this week that a $2 billion supplemental spending bill that the House is expected to take up soon will have a focus including increased training, intelligence analysis and capabilities.

A 9/11-style commission to investigate events surrounding the attack also will be addressed in the hearing, according to Axios. Such as commission has received bipartison support.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.