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capitol riot aftermath

D.C. National Guard commander highlights differences in deployment approval process for summer protests, Jan. 6 riot

Congressional testimony about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, began with a "brutal" line of questioning from Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Wednesday.

Walker himself wasn't the target of Peters' questions. Rather, the senator asked the major general how quickly he was able to get approval to deploy troops in the nation's capital from the Pentagon in June during the protests against police brutality and racial injustice. Walker confirmed he got the go-ahead immediately. But when Peters followed up by asking about the timeline on Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Walker testified that he did not receive immediate approval, highlighting the differences in responses to the events.

Walker said he alerted Army senior right after former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund requested assistance from guardsmen, whom Walker had moved closer to the Capitol in anticipation of the situation, but he didn't receive the required approval from then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller until over three hours later. The major general added that he received an "unusual" letter the day before the insurrection restricting him from deploying any Quick Reaction Force service members without the explicit approval of then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Read more at NPR.