The National Guard and Federal Law Enforcement on Jan 6

On January 5, 2022, DC’s radical mayor, Muriel Bowser, sent a letter to the acting Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, and the Deputy Attorney General, rejecting any additional assistance from the National Guard and federal law enforcement agencies for Jan 6. Further, she demanded that “any request for additional assistance be coordinated”, apparently with her and using non-emergency protocols and procedures.  Notice that her rejection of personnel from federal law enforcement agencies also included any special forces, from anti-terrorism to ATF units. Bowser’s letter was widely publicized. Thus, mayor Bowser put a huge political roadblock to sending any reinforcement to the Capitol police on Jan 6.

DC is not a state. The DC mayor is not a state governor and thus, does not command the DC National Guard. Further, the Capitol is under separate jurisdiction and not a part of DC. Mayor Bowser’s letter had no official authority and was possibly illegal.

The DCNG chain of command was President Trump –> Acting Secretary of Defense Miller –> Secretary of Army McCarthy –> DCNG Director Walker.[1] However, the letter from mayor Bowser, who enjoyed massive support of Big Tech and MSM, politicized employment of National Guard on Jan 6, and delayed it by 2–3 hours, which proved to be critical.

USCP leadership included Chief Sund, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Stenger, and House Sergeant-at-Arms Irving. On Jan 6, obtaining reinforcements consumed its full attention (HSC Hearing [2] video, 48:50) and thus, USCP operational command  was left in the hands of Yogananda Pittman and Sean Gallagher. In its plan to protect the Capitol, Capitol Police leadership relied on the quick reaction force (QRF) of the National Guard. Neither Capital Police leadership, nor VP Mike Pence were aware of mayor Bowser’s letter, and likely blamed President Trump for the National Guard employment delay.

Trump’s enemies later even accused him of refusing the National Guard, when in fact, President Trump had offered the DC and USCP 10,000 National Guard troops before Jan 6 and approved the use of available National Guard on Jan 6. It is likely that the request for approval reached him late on Jan 6 because of another trap, laid by mayor Bowser.

More Details

On December 31, 2020, Mayor Bowser requested 340 National Guard troops for Jan 6. Unusually, the request demanded that the National Guard would have no weapons or even protective equipment: “no DCNG personnel shall be armed during this mission, and at no time, will DCNG personnel or assets be engaged in domestic surveillance, searches, or seizures of US persons.”[3] Nevertheless, the request had been approved and fulfilled.[4] The DC spread the National Guard in many places, away from the Capitol, ostensibly to relieve the DC police and emergency services. USCP Chief Sund did not know of the restrictions put on DCNG at the request of Mayor Bowser (HSC Hearing, 2:12:00).

While handling the unusual DC request from December 31, the Secretary of Army also approved a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of 40 National Guard troops outside of DC, at the Joint Airbase Andrews in Maryland. He allowed General Walker could employ QRF upon request of an appropriate civilian authority, but only with his approval, which required  “a concept of the operation”. MPD Chief Contee and USCP Chief Sund were shocked to be asked about the USCP plan for QRF, when USCP requested it (HSC Hearing, 1:18:15).

Reference

[1] REVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE’S ROLE, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND ACTIONS TO PREPARE FOR AND RESPOND TO THE PROTEST AND ITS AFTERMATH AT THE U.S. CAPITOL CAMPUS ON JANUARY 6, 2021,  https://justthenews.com/sites/default/files/2022-07/DODIG-2022-039%20V2%20508.pdf (“DODIG”)

[2] C-Span, Homeland Security Committee hearing, February 23, 2021 (the “HSC Hearing”)

[3] Mayor Bowser’s December 31, 2020 RFA, DODIG, p. 102

[4] Mr. McCarthy’s January 4, 2021 Letter to Mr. Rosen – Confirming DoJ Approval of the D.C. Government’s December 31, 2020 RFA. DODIG, pp.117-118

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