Military Leaders Plotted to Disobey Trump’s Orders as Commander-in-Chief on Jan. 6, Whistleblower Claims

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
May 4, 2024US News
Military Leaders Plotted to Disobey Trump’s Orders as Commander-in-Chief on Jan. 6, Whistleblower Claims
From left to right, Command Sgt. Major Michael Brooks, Col. Earl Matthews, Brig. Gen. Aaron Dean, and Capt. Timothy Nick, all of the D.C. National Guard, are sworn in during a hearing in Washington on April 17, 2024. (House Administration Committee via The Epoch Times)

Senior military leaders plotted to disobey then-President Donald Trump’s orders on Jan. 6, 2021, because they “unreasonably” thought he might try to use the D.C. National Guard to block certification of the 2020 presidential election, according to whistleblower Col. Earl Matthews.

“I think a very plausible argument can be made that through no fault of his own, President Trump’s command authority over both the D.C. National Guard and the U.S. Army itself had been surreptitiously curtailed by the senior leadership of the Army on January 6, 2021,” Col. Matthews, told The Daily Mail in a May 3 interview.

“Army leadership had unreasonably anticipated an ‘unlawful order’ from the President, an order that the President had no plans to issue, and were preemptively seeking to curtail his discretion to issue such an order,” he added.

The remarks by Col. Matthews dovetail with the contents of a book written in mid-2021 titled “I Alone Can Fix It” that claims then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, and other military leaders informally planned for different ways to disobey potential orders issued by President Trump that they disagreed with.

The DOD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Col. Matthews’s claims.

On Jan. 6, 2021, Col. Matthews was serving as the top attorney to Maj. Gen. William Walker, who at the time was the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Walker conveyed a request for assistance at around 1:50 p.m. on Jan. 6 but the Guard was not deployed to the Capitol until about 5:10 p.m., according to a timeline from the D.C. National Guard.

Questions remain on why it took around three hours to deploy D.C. National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in response to unrest as Congress convened to certify the 2020 presidential election.

‘Stunned Watching in the Armory’

While it remains unclear exactly why there was such a long delay to mobilize and deploy the Guard troops from an armory just two miles away from the Capitol, a breakdown in communications and concern about the optics of using armed soldiers in response to the unrest have been posited as key factors.

The Pentagon Inspector General’s report and a report from the Jan. 6 committee that investigated the events of that day concluded that no Pentagon officials deliberately delayed the deployment.

However, Col. Matthews has challenged the Pentagon’s narrative about the events of Jan. 6. He was also among four whistleblowers who testified before Congress on April 17 about the delay in the deployment of the Guard on that day. Lawmakers were convening on Capitol Hill to certify the electoral votes and make the results of the 2020 election official.

In his 36-page memo, Col. Matthews makes two major accusations. The first is that two Army generals—Gen. Charles Flynn, who served as deputy chief of staff for operations on Jan. 6, 2021, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, the director of Army staff—lied to Congress about their response to calls for quick deployment of the D.C. Guard that day as the unrest was unfolding.

The second key allegation is that the Pentagon’s narrative of the events of Jan. 6, as outlined in the Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General’s report, was full of factual inaccuracies.

“Every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond and knew they could respond to the riot at the seat of government” before they were given approval to do so on Jan. 6, Col. Matthews wrote in his memo. But instead, D.C. Guard officials sat “stunned watching in the Armory,” he wrote.

In his memo, Col. Matthews accused Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt of lying to Congress when they denied ever saying that the Guard should not be deployed to the Capitol.

Col. Matthews elaborated on his interview with The Daily Mail, claiming that Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt were both “obsessively focused” on the bad optics of deploying military personnel to the Capitol while Congress was certifying the electoral votes.

He said that they both believed that civilian law enforcement personnel could handle the job and felt that the best use of the Guard would be to relieve civilian law enforcement at other locations to free them up to deploy to the Capitol.

Neither Gen. Flynn nor Lt. Gen. Piatt could be reached for comment and the Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment.

However, when Col. Matthews’s memo was first released, Army spokesperson Mike Brady told Politico that “Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt have been open, honest and thorough in their sworn testimony with Congress and DOD investigators.”

A Pentagon spokesman told The Epoch Times in an earlier statement that, “we stand by our January 6th Report.”

Top Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Whistleblowers

The April 17 congressional hearing titled “Three Years Later: D.C. National Guard Whistleblowers Speak Out on January 6 Delay” has shed further light on the events of Jan. 6.

At the hearing, whistleblowers alleged that then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy made multiple false claims, including that he spoke to the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard on two separate occasions after officials requested that the Guard be deployed to the Capitol.

After Maj. Gen. Walker conveyed a request from the U.S. Capitol Police for Guard personnel, Mr. McCarthy called Maj. Gen. Walker at 2:14 p.m. and instructed the Guard to stand by, according to the timeline of events.

But the whistleblowers claimed that this call never took place.

“At no time did Gen. Walker take any calls, nor did we ever hear from the secretary on any of the ongoing conference calls or the secure video teleconferencing throughout the day,” Capt. Timothy Nick, who served as Maj. Gen. Walker’s personal assistant on Jan. 6, 2021, said during the hearing. “This I know because I was with the command general the entire time recording the events.”

Despite Gen. Walker conveying the request for assistance at about 1:50 p.m., the Guard was not deployed to the Capitol until about 5:10 p.m.

“This was a dereliction of duty by the secretary of the Army,” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.), one of the members of the committee, said.

Mr. McCarthy refused to appear before the panel, Mr. Murphy said.

Christopher Miller, the acting secretary of defense at the time, authorized Guard deployment at 3:11 p.m., but Mr. McCarthy took the order and decided to draw up a plan before ordering the deployment, according to military timelines and testimony from Mr. McCarthy and others.

“You never would employ our personnel, whether it’s on an American street or a foreign street, without putting together a [plan],” Mr. McCarthy told the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 committee.

Mr. McCarthy could not be reached for comment.

The Pentagon Inspector General’s report alleges that Gen. Walker received a call from Mr. McCarthy at 4:35 p.m. informing him that Mr. Miller had approved the request to deploy the D.C. Guard to the Capitol.

Gen. Walker denied that claim in an interview with The Washington Post.

“Our Army has never failed us and did not do so on January 6, 2021,” Col. Matthews told Politico. “However, occasionally some of our Army leaders have failed us and they did so on January 6th. Then they lied about it and tried to cover it up. They tried to smear a good man and to erase history.”

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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