Ex-National Guard official says Army generals lied to Congress, alleging cover-up of decision to withhold troops from the Capitol on January 6

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Members of the National Guard in Washington, DC, on January 6, after rioters broke into the US Capitol.AP Photo/John Minchillo

  • Col. Earl Matthews said Army generals declined to send DC Guardsmen to the Capitol on January 6.

  • Matthews accused Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt and Gen. Charles Flynn of later lying to Congress about that.

  • In a new memo, Matthews called the two generals “absolute and unmitigated liars.”

A former official with the District of Columbia National Guard accused two US Army generals of lying to Congress about their decision to withhold troops from the Capitol on January 6 and suggested an Army cover-up of their actions that day.

The claims were made in a memo submitted on Wednesday by Col. Earl Matthews to the House's January 6 commission, a copy of which Politico obtained. At the time of the Capitol riot, Matthews was the top attorney to Maj. Gen. William Walker, then the commanding general of the DC National Guard.

Matthews wrote that Walker held a call with military and law-enforcement leaders at 2:30 p.m. on January 6, about 90 minutes after rioters breached Capitol security.

In the call, Steven Sund, then the Capitol Police chief, asked Gen. Charles Flynn, then the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, then the director of Army staff, to grant permission for the DC National Guard to intervene, Matthews said.

Matthews wrote that Piatt and Flynn said they didn't think it was a good idea.

“Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the D.C. National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time,” Matthews wrote.

He added that “Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good.”

Instead, Matthews wrote, the duo suggested guardsmen be sent to take over police traffic duties so that those police officers could be sent to help at the Capitol complex instead.

Piatt and Flynn have said in testimony to Congress that they did not say guardsmen shouldn't go to the Capitol.

“At no point on January 6 did I tell anyone that the DC National Guard should not deploy directly to the Capitol,” Piatt told the House Oversight Committee on June 15.

During the same hearing, Flynn told lawmakers that he “never expressed a concern about the visuals, image, or public perception of” sending guardsmen to the Capitol.

Matthews in his memo called Piatt and Flynn “absolute and unmitigated liars.”

The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

A Trump rally on the National Mall on January 6.Samuel Corum/Getty Images

In his memo, Matthews said the Army had written its own fabricated version of the events of January 6.

Matthews said Piatt had “directed the development of an Army 'White Paper' to retell events of 6 January in a light more favorable to LTGs Flynn, Piatt, Secretary McCarthy and the Army Staff.”

Matthews said the aim of the document was “to create an alternate history which would be the Army's official recollection of events.”

Matthews called the end product “a revisionist tract worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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