A former DC National Guard official called Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn – the brother of disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn – and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt as “absolute and outright liars” in their report on the Pentagon’s response to the January 6 Uprising, according to a note received Politico.
In a 36-page memo to a House special committee investigating the uprising, Colonel Earl Matthews accuses Charles Flynn and Piatt of lying to Congress about what went on behind the scenes the day the rioters invaded the Capitol. The two men played a key role in the Pentagon’s attempt to shirk responsibility for the dangerously lax response to violence, several hours late, Matthews said.
Matthews writes that Flynn, who was the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations on January 6, and Piatt, the Army’s chief of staff, are trying to “absolve senior army command of any responsibility for delays” in response to the attack on the Capitol.
On January 6, Matthews, who held senior positions in the National Security Council and the Pentagon in the Trump administration, was the chief attorney for Major General William Walker, then the commander of the District of Columbia National Guard.
“Every leader of the DC Guard wanted to react and knew they could respond to the unrest at the government headquarters before they were allowed to do so on January 6,” Matthews said in a memo.
Instead, he recalls, DC Guard officials sat “stunned, watching [events unfold on TV] at the Armory, when, for the first time in its 219-year history, the DC National Guard was not allowed to respond to unrest in the city. “
The Pentagon claims it was the DC security guard who responded slowly to the violence and had to be told twice to respond, which then-Commander Walker vehemently denied.
Initially, the Army repeatedly denied that Charles Flynn had anything to do with military responses to the uprising. But he personally confirmed that he was involved in a tense phone call on January 6 about what action to take when rioters invaded the Capitol, according to The Washington Post.
Walker told investors he was “stunned” and “disappointed” during a conference call in which he said DC officials asked the National Guard for help and Flynn and Piatt advised not to provide it. Matthews confirmed Walker’s account of the call in his memo.
In a memo, Matthews also criticized the report the Pentagon inspector general released last month on the Army leadership’s response to the Capitol riot. Matthews called it “an abundance of factual inaccuracies that have served to create a revisionist history” worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korean propagandist. “
Walker previously called on the inspector general to withdraw his report for what he called “sloppy work” and “inaccurate” conclusions. Walker told Politico that Matthews’ memorandum “speaks for itself,” and said he had nothing to add.
“Our army never let us down or let us down on January 6,” Matthews told Politico. “However, sometimes some of our army leaders let us down, and they did so on January 6th. Then they lied and tried to hide it. “
Several other key figures in the events of that day described their experiences of the Pentagon’s surprisingly slow response, as rioters looted the Capitol and lawmakers hid under benches and barricaded offices in fear for their safety and lives.
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, for example, said he promptly offered his state’s National Guard services, but did not receive permission to dispatch them within hours.
Charles Flynn’s brother, Michael Flynn, is a retired lieutenant general, right-wing extremist and staunch Trump ally. Just weeks before the uprising, he retweeted a message urging defeated President Donald Trump to declare martial law and keep the White House by force. Five months later, he called for a Myanmar-style military coup in the United States.
Army spokesman Mike Brady told Politico in a statement that Charles Flynn and Piatt were “open, honest and substantive in their sworn testimony to Congressional and Department of Defense investigators.”
Referring to the Pentagon Inspector General’s report that Matthews and Walker criticized, Brady said the Inspector General determined that the actions taken were “appropriate, supported by requirements … and consistent with laws, regulations and other applicable guidelines.”
Read the full story of Politico here and Matthews’ note here.