President Donald Trump met with high navy officers and gave his approval to activate the D.C. Nationwide Guard three days earlier than he inspired a mob of offended protesters to take their grievances to the U.S. Capitol.
A Pentagon memo launched Friday presents these insights, in addition to the primary detailed timeline of the bungled regulation enforcement response to Wednesday’s rebellion.
The timeline exhibits that the planning began at the least way back to Dec. 31 and included dialogue with choose Cupboard members of the potential want for Pentagon reinforcements.
However it additionally leaves many questions unanswered, together with why the U.S. Capitol Police declined repeated presents of help from navy officers and the total extent of how a lot Trump knew concerning the safety planning or was concerned in decision-making.
The memo, first reported on by NBC News on Friday night, presents a restricted account of the times earlier than the rebellion, and reports have questioned the completeness of the Pentagon’s model of occasions and the effectiveness of its planning and response. However the memo might effectively present a partial roadmap as legislators call for an investigation into how pro-Trump protesters breached the Capitol in a riot that left 5 individuals lifeless, including one Capitol Hill police officer. Three officers who supervise the drive have already submitted resignations.
Right here’s what we all know thus far, and what we don’t.
There was almost per week of preparation
The Pentagon’s timeline begins on the final day of 2020, when Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and one other metropolis official delivered a written request for D.C. Nationwide Guard help on Wednesday. For weeks, Trump supporters had shared plans on social media for descending on Washington that day to protest the election outcomes as Congress licensed the Electoral Faculty votes that sealed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Within the days after, Performing Secretary of Protection Chris Miller met with “choose Cupboard Members,” the memo says with out specifying which, to debate Protection Division involvement and “potential necessities” for DOD help.
The Pentagon says Trump approved the Nationwide Guard deployment days earlier than the protest, however the timeline doesn’t say what that entailed
On Sunday, Jan. 3, Miller and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, Gen. Mark Milley, met with Trump. Based on the memo, the president “concurs in activation” of the Nationwide Guard to “help regulation enforcement.” Miller authorized the activation of 340 Guard members the next day.
The small print of Trump’s dialog with Miller and Milley should not recognized.
The Pentagon participated in a planning train — after the protests had been already underway
Swarms of pro-Trump protesters assembled in Washington on Wednesday morning, beginning on the Ellipse to listen to Trump communicate and heeding his suggestion that they take their complaints to the Capitol, the place Congress was assembly in joint session to certify Biden’s election. Trump ended his remarks simply after 1 p.m.
Round 11:30 that morning, Miller participated in a tabletop planning train relating to DOD’s “contingency response choices,” the memo says. Whereas Miller participated in quite a few preparatory conversations with native and federal officers within the week main as much as Wednesday, the timeline offers no indication that any formal planning workout routines happened earlier than the day of the assault. The Pentagon didn’t instantly present an evidence for the eleventh-hour train.
The U.S. Capitol Police declined the Pentagon’s provide of help — twice
Three days earlier than the mob overtook the Capitol, DOD contacted the U.S. Capitol Police to substantiate that the drive was not requesting backup upfront of the scheduled protests, in response to the timeline. The following day, the memo says, USCP officers participated in a telephone name with Military Secretary Ryan McCarthy and as soon as once more confirmed they didn’t want the Pentagon’s help.
That place solely modified at 1:49 on Wednesday afternoon, when USCP Chief Steven Sund known as requesting speedy help. By then, members of Congress had been sheltering in place, with the mob minutes away from breaching the Capitol steps.
It stays unclear what intelligence the Capitol Police, which boasts greater than 2,300 staff and a finances of over $400 million, gathered in anticipation of Wednesday’s occasions or why Sund declined to bolster the Capitol’s defenses. Sund’s resignation was introduced on Thursday, and he’ll go away his place on Jan. 16. Sund and the USCP didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Washington’s mayor and the Pentagon provide conflicting accounts of the lead-up to the protests
After Bowser despatched her New Yr’s Eve request for assist from the D.C. Nationwide Guard, the DOD memo says it authorized sending 340 Guard members to help native officers. It additional says that on Tuesday, Bowser delivered a letter confirming that Washington officers had all of the help they wanted.
However a spokesperson for Bowser’s workplace advised NBC News that it was McCarthy, not the mayor, who made the important thing selections concerning the Nationwide Guard’s response, together with setting the variety of personnel and establishing “that the guard members had been to not transfer East of ninth Avenue NW,” blocks away from the Capitol itself.
As soon as the mob was contained in the Capitol, it took hours for the Nationwide Guard to reach
At 1:26 p.m. Wednesday, with a mob of protesters about to push by police traces, the USCP ordered the Capitol evacuated. Eight minutes later, in response to the DOD timeline, Bowser was on the telephone with McCarthy requesting an “unspecified variety of extra forces.” Sund’s name to Pentagon officers adopted shortly thereafter.
At 3 p.m., greater than an hour after the mayor’s name, Miller decided that D.C. Nationwide Guard forces had been wanted to reestablish management of the Capitol, and minutes later, he formally authorized the total activation of the D.C. Nationwide Guard. At 5:02 p.m., 154 guard members left the D.C. Armory to go to the Capitol, the place they arrived roughly 40 minutes later.
By 6:14 p.m., regulation enforcement had efficiently established a fringe across the west aspect of the Capitol, in response to the memo, and at 8 p.m., Capitol Police declared the constructing safe.