Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified before the Senate on Tuesday that he participated in a conference call with Pentagon officials at 2:28 p.m. on Jan. 6 as a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol building, pleading with the Pentagon for immediate assistance.
But Pentagon officials ignored those pleas, according to Sund’s testimony, and took hours to respond with the requested help, Politico’s Kyle Cheney reported via Twitter.
The officials in charge of securing the Capitol on Jan. 6 say a tangled mess of conflicting orders and unanswered calls culminated in an hourslong delay by the Pentagon in deploying National Guard troops to quell the insurrection that threatened the presidential transfer of power.
In Tuesday testimony to two Senate committees, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said the Pentagon dragged its feet for hours on Jan. 6 — even after law enforcement officials pleaded for aid. Already, a mob inspired by then-President Donald Trump had planted two explosives nearby, breached the Capitol and battered police officers with clubs, mace and other weapons.
Sund and acting D.C. police chief Robert Contee told senators of a Jan. 6 conference call with senior security personnel during which a top Pentagon official, Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, said he would recommend against deploying the National Guard for fear of the “optics” of armed troops in front of the Capitol. Sund and Contee said they informed Piatt that their officers, already beleaguered and beaten by the mob, were desperate for help.
“Lt. General Piatt then indicated that he was going to run the request up the chain of command at the Pentagon,” recalled Sund, who resigned after the riot. “Almost two hours later, we had still not received authorization from the Pentagon to activate the National Guard.”
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