A series of missteps unfolded to leave the Capitol unprotected from a mob of pro-Trump rioters Wednesday – with congressional leaders directly intervening with calls to governors and Capitol Police seeking reinforcements that were slow to come.
The Mayor of Washington, D.C. had activated National Guard ahead of Wednesday's events, which had been forecast on social media and with President Trump urging his followers to attend through tweets.
But once his followers breached the Capitol after Trump urged them to 'fight' for his false claim that he won the election, chaos ensued – with insufficient planning, a tangle of jurisdictions and chain of command issues, and officials failing to act.
On Thursday night following the turmoil, the top four congressional leaders – Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Charles Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy – spoke with acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley about the chaotic response.
Immediately available Guard forces weren't armed – and delays in activating forces prevented an immediate infusion of forces that might have stopped rioters who ran wild inside the building.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
National Guard troops march past the Dirksen Senate Office Building on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Thursday, January 7, 2021, following the riot at the Capitol the day before. It took precious time to get reinforcements for overrun Capitol Police on Wednesday
The Capitol Police, a 2,000-strong force that protects Capitol grounds, had not requested outside help before the start of Wednesday's incursion.
After it happened, police chief Steven Sund asked for 200 troops.
The Army oversees the guard in D.C., due to its special jurisdiction as a federal city, not a state.
Sund got asked if he wanted Guard help on a call and 'there was a pause,' a Washington, D.C. official told the Washington Post. He responded yes. '
'Then there was another pause, and an official from the [office of the] secretary of the Army said that wasn't going to be possible.'
The Army official, on behalf of the Secretary of the Army, cited the 'optics' of armed troops marching through the U.S. Capitol.
Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy is charged with responding to D.C.'s request to activate National Guard due to its special jurisdictional statusInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
National Guard troops clear a street from protestors outside the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC after the mayor imposed a curfew. There were problems activating Guard and getting them in proper gear in a timely manner
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, gets his first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by HN Samantha Alvarez at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on December 14, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. He assumed his post after the resignation of Defense Secretary Mark Esper