January 6th will go down, unfortunately, as a defining event in President Donald Trump’s legacy, but it was a single decision by Capitol Capitol Police leadership that allowed the Capitol breach to happen.
According to the timeline of events released by the Pentagon, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested D.C. National Guard (DCNG) support through the Department of Defense (DoD) ahead of the protest, but the Capitol Police refused to do the same.
Bowser requested Guard troops to reinforce D.C. Metropolitan Police and first responders. That’s within her responsibilities. She cannot request DoD resources to protect Capitol Hill as that is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP).
Here are the critical parts of the timeline showing that while Mayor Bowser saw the need for reinforcements long before the protest started, Capitol Police leadership did not.
Bowser requested, the Pentagon reviewed and President Trump approved the deployment. In that timeline, DoD also reached out to USCP to see if they wanted to request support – they declined.
On January 4th, the Secretary of the Army had a phone call with USCP leadership during which USCP again declined reinforcements.
Then, on January 6th, when a huge crowd of protesters starts making its way towards the Capitol, USCP Chief Sund suddenly needs support.
Because of a complete lack of foresight, Sund now needs the National Guard to make an emergency deployment – one that would take precious hours to complete.
At 1:49 PM, Chief Sund hit the panic button. The Pentagon spends almost 3 hours doing what bureaucracies do – requests, reviews, approvals before approving the re-tasking of 154 DCNG to the Capitol. Within 45 minutes of the re-tasking order, DCNG arrives and sets up a perimiter.
The three-hour delay is completely USCP’s fault. Had Chief Sund requested support even as late as the morning of the event, the request-review-approval cycle would have been complete prior to The Ellipse speech. The National Guard troops and the fencing they later brought, would have been in place before the crowd ever got there.
Sure, three hours for DoD to review and approve the re-tasking seems lengthy, but those checks are there for a multitude of sound reasons. The security failure at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, is firmly on the head of Chief Steven Sund who has now been forced to resign his post.
Complete Timeline for D.C. National Guard Deployment on January 6th, 2021
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