Defense

Former DC Guard commander calls for retraction of Pentagon watchdog’s Jan. 6 report

William Walker, House sergeant-at-arms and former head of the D.C. National Guard, is demanding an inspector general report that claimed he had to be told twice to send troops to the Capitol on Jan. 6 be retracted, saying it is false and must be corrected.

In a report released this week, Defense Department acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell detailed that Walker had been called by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy at 4:35 p.m. on Jan. 6, informing him that the D.C. National Guard had been approved to provide support to the U.S. Capitol Police during the Capitol riot.

The report stated that McCarthy then called Walker again 30 minutes later to reiterate this notice, several hours after the Capitol had been breached by rioters.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Walker disputed this claim, saying he had received notice at 5:08 p.m. and immediately dispatched forces after this.

“Every minute mattered. You have to understand: These are my friends here,” Walker told the Post.

Walker has previously asserted that he would have deployed troops to the Capitol sooner if he had been given the green light by the Trump administration. During a testimony to Congress in March, Walker stated that he had received a request for assistance from then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund around 1:49 p.m., immediately relaying this request to Army officials. However, he has maintained that he was not made aware that the request had been approved until 5:08 p.m.

The Post noted that a top Pentagon official, Robert Salesses, previously said during testimony that Walker had been given notice to deploy troops at 4:32 p.m. However, Salesses later corrected himself after Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) pointed out that this account conflicted with Walker’s.

“In fairness to General Walker, too, that’s when the [acting] secretary of defense made the decision — at 4:32,” Salesses said in his testimony. “As General Walker has pointed out, because I’ve seen all the timelines, he was not told that until 5:08.”

Tags Capitol breach D.C. National Guard House Sergeant-at-Arms Law enforcement response to the 2021 United States Capitol attack Roy Blunt Ryan D. McCarthy Ryan McCarthy United States Capitol attack Washington, D.C. William Walker

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