Pentagon placed ‘unusual restrictions’ National guard before D.C riot, claims commander

Days before the riot, the Pentagon had removed Walker’s authority to quickly deploy his troops, he testified.

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Pentagon officials placed “unusual” restrictions on the D.C. National Guard before the Capitol riot, its commander told senators Wednesday, saying the military leaders’ fears of a repeat of aggressive tactics used during racial justice protests last year slowed decision-making and squandered time as the violence by a pro-Trump mob escalated.

Days before the riot, the Pentagon had removed Walker’s authority to quickly deploy his troops, he testified. He said he was unable to move troops even from one traffic stop to another without permission from Ryan D. McCarthy, the Army secretary. Once Walker had approval for deployment, the guard arrived at the Capitol only minutes later, at 5:20 p.m., and helped reestablish the security perimeter on the east side of the building.

Walker said he could have had 150 troops to the complex hours earlier. The violent rampage that unfolded over nearly five hours caused injuries to nearly 140 police officers and left five people dead.“That number could have made a difference,” Walker said of the possibility of deploying his troops earlier.“Seconds mattered,” he added. “Minutes mattered.”

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