Dec 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army generals lied about Jan. 6 response

 Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police keep a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capital after the insurrection o January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The D.C. National Guard and Capitol Police keep a group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that two U.S. Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

For the record: The Army rejects the claims made by Matthews, who was senior attorney to Maj. Gen. William Walker on Jan 6.

  • The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General stands by its report.

Details: Matthews accuses Gen. Charles Flynn, deputy chief of staff for operations on Jan. 6, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, director of the Army staff, in the 36-page memo of being "absolute and unmitigated liars."

  • He alleges they "repeatedly misrepresented" or misled the House Oversight Committee and the Pentagon's inspector general, which he claims contributed to "deficiencies" in the IG report.
  • Matthews said he, Walker and other senior military and law enforcement officials in a 2:30p.m. call "pleaded for the immediate support of the D.C. National Guard at the U.S. Capitol as the security perimeter at the Capitol was being breached."
"Piatt and Flynn stated that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the US Capitol would not be good. ... Piatt stated that it would not be his best military advice to recommend to the Secretary of the Army that the DC National Guard be allowed to deploy to the Capitol at that time."
— Allegation by Matthews

Flashback: Both Piatt and Flynn told Congress that they never said that the Guard should not deploy to the Capitol. 

What they're saying: Army spokesperson Mike Brady said in a statement to news outlets that the Army's actions on Jan. 6 had "been well-documented and reported on," and that Flynn and Piatt had "been open, honest and thorough in their sworn testimony" with Congress and Defense Department investigators."

"As the Inspector General concluded, actions taken 'were appropriate, supported by requirements, consistent with the DOD's roles and responsibilities for DSCA, and compliant with laws, regulations, and other applicable guidance. We stand by all testimony and facts provided to date, and vigorously reject any allegations to the contrary."
— Brady
  • Kim Wheeler, a spokesperson for the Pentagon's inspector general, said in an emailed statement that the office welcomed "inquiries and discussion regarding our oversight work."
  • "We stand behind the conclusions in our 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," Wheeler added.
  • Representatives of the House panel investigating the insurrection have declined to comment on the allegations.

Worth noting: Flynn is the brother of former Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has been subpoenaed by Jan. 6 House panel.

Yes, but: Matthews makes no reference to Michael Flynn and nor does the memo imply that he had any influence on his brother's response on Jan. 6.

Read the memo, obtained by Politico, in full via DocumentCloud:

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