Confusion and finger-pointing continue between local and national law enforcement agencies following Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol with a pro-Trump mob.
WASHINGTON — City officials said it was the Pentagon that planned to keep the presence of National Guard troops at Wednesday’s pro-Trump rally small, unarmed and remote from the Capitol. But Pentagon officials said that they were only reacting to the city’s fantasies to”keep things de-escalated.”
A deadline published by the Pentagon late Friday states Capitol Police twice declined help from the Defense Department from the days before Jan. 6. But it also shows that if the city officials and the Capitol Police requested additional National Guard troops after rioters breached the Capitol, it took four hours for those troops to arrive.
Confusion and finger-pointing continued between local and federal law enforcement agencies in the aftermath of Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol building by that a pro-Trump mob, that has now resulted in five deaths, such as a Capitol Police officer.
Foster said the Army also postponed using the National Guard to back up the Capitol Police after the Capitol was violated.
But defense officials said that they provided the aid that the Capitol Police and the city government requested and never turned down requests from city officials.
The Pentagon published a timeline Friday that showed a Dec. 31″written request” from Mayor Bowser and D.C. security and emergency officials Christopher Rodriguez for National Guard help to the town’s police and fire departments. A Dec. 31 memo from Rodriguez which was acquired by NBC News asked that”No DCNG employees will be armed in this assignment.”
According to the memo, the D.C. National Guard’s primary mission will be crowd management and assistance with obstructing vehicles at traffic posts. There would be six bunch management teams to manage crowds at”specified Metro stations and a group to assist 30″designated traffic places,” Rodriguez wrote.
On Monday, Jan. 4, according to the timeline, the DoD agreed to provide 340 members of the D.C. National Guard to Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller also authorized the Army secretary to deploy a fast reaction force of 40 employees”if additional support is asked by civilian authorities.”
The Pentagon said the town police department had asked just a supporting role for the National Guard, largely to handle traffic checkpoints and Metro stations to free up police officers for different tasks. Additionally, it stated the Capitol Police didn’t request help from the times leading up to the planned Jan. 6 protest. The Pentagon timeline states that on Jan. 3,”DoD confirms with U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) that there isn’t any petition for DoD support,” and that on Jan. 4, the Capitol Police affirmed again in a telephone using the Army secretary that there was no petition for DoD help.
According to the Pentagon’s timeline, officials became aware of demonstrators moving to the Capitol only after 1 p.m.. The timeline says that the Capitol Police ordered the building evacuated at 1:26, which Mayor Bowser and Capitol Police Chief Sund asked assistance from the DoD by phone at 1:34 and 1:49 respectively.
The acting secretary of defense verbally approved installment of additional National Guard troops 75 minutes later, at 3:04 p.m., according to the deadline. The timeline describes an additional dialog with Bowser and a separate discussion of this Sund and Bowser requests by top Defense officials in the meantime, but there also intervals of 33 and 30 minutes with no telephone calls or meetings listed.
The timeline also lists a telephone between Bowser, the D.C. police chief and the Army secretary in 3:26, where the defense official tells the regional officials their request for troops was not rejected, and the installation has been authorized.
According to the timeline, the D.C. National Guard soldiers didn’t leave the D.C. armory before 5:04 p.m, and came at the Capitol in 5:40, four hours after they were first requested from the mayor.
At 5:45, the acting secretary of defense formally allowed Virginia and Maryland National Guard troops to support the Capitol Police. The governors of both states had offered their assistance hours before. Virginia’s Ralph Northam had tweeted the offer at 3:29 p.m.
The Pentagon stated Capitol Police and Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department had originally requested only a supporting role in the National Guard, largely to take care of traffic checkpoints and Metro stations to compensate for police officers to different tasks.
The D.C. National Guard troops”were outfitted appropriately for the mission asked by the D.C. government in its written petition, which was to provide traffic control at designated intersections and Metro stations,” a senior defense official said. “The D.C. Government made it clear they wanted unarmed support”
Any proposal from D.C. officials that the Pentagon didn’t provide everything the authorities asked for in its Dec. 31 request is”clearly and demonstrably untrue,” the defense official told NBC News.
The Pentagon chose to transfer the National Guard determined by more than 300 troops in SUVs and minivans instead of armored military vehicles, since they wanted to prevent a high-profile army presence that could potentially raise tensions among the crowd at the Jan. 6 rally, a second Defense official said.
“This was a deliberate attempt to keep things de-escalated and not present an appearance that we had to surround our capital together with troops,” the next Defense officer said.
Pentagon officials told reporters in a phone briefing on Thursday that they had National Guard troops come back to the D.C. Armory for riot gear with the Capitol Police and the D.C. authorities asked them for assistance as the situation escalated on Wednesday.
The Pentagon has insisted it moved quickly to proceed in reinforcements once the petition for extra help was conveyed on Wednesday afternoon, and that it required approximately two hours to set up more troops in the D.C. National Guard.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan stated on MSNBC on Friday he received a call from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer during the chaos on Wednesday, pleading with him to helphe managed to send in Maryland state authorities. However, Hogan said, it took about 90 minutes to get approval by the Pentagon to ship from Maryland’s National Guard.
“I advised him we had called up the guard, but we did not have authorization however,” Hogan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, referring to his call with Hoyer.
Prior to the launch of the deadline, Pentagon officials had stated that throughout the Sunday, Jan. 3, organizing meeting, the Defense Department provided the Capitol Police and the town of Washington added National Guard troops, but were resigned.
Said Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman,”We had been informed that extra support from DoD was not needed.”
But Bowser’s office maintains that by Sunday, the Pentagon had not yet approved its initial request, even though it afterwards would before Wednesday’s protests.
Kenneth Rapuano, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and international security, said that during the meetings, law enforcement supplied”overall descriptions of a online traffic” from groups who planned to encourage the Trump rally on Jan. 6,”but complete the assessment we got repeatedly was there wasn’t any indication of significant violent protests.”
During a briefing with reporters on Friday,” Steven D’Antuono, FBI Washington Field Office assistant director in charge, told reporters that the bureau’s threat assessments resulting in Wednesday’s mobbing of the Capitol showed”there wasn’t any indication that there was anything besides First Amendment protected activity”