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An issue which will be addressed by the House Select Committee tonight is what was Donald Trump doing during the 187 minutes when the Oathkeepers and Proud Boys and other Trumpsters were rampaging the Capitol on 1/6 looking for Pence and Pelosi to kill them and for the ballot boxes containing the certified election results to destroy them. A related issue is what was the Defense Department doing during this period?

When it became apparent that there was a mob out of control inside the Capitol screaming and hollering and fighting with the Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police, a conference call was made by the heads of the Capitol Police and D.C. officials beginning about 1:49 pm to the Defense Department conveying ‘an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance” for “boots on the ground” to help suppress the violence, so the certification process could continue.

On a later call, at 2:30 pm., the Capitol Police and DC officials reached three star Lt. General Walter E. Piatt, Director of the Army Staff, who initially replied that he could not recommend that the request be approved, because the presence of uniformed military personnel could inflame the situation and that the police were best suited to handle the situation.

After initially denying that Brigadier General Charles A. Flynn was on the call, the Army later admitted that Flynn participated in the phone call. Flynn claimed that he could not remember saying anything on the call, but others on the call recall hearing his voice. Both Piatt and Flynn stated that “the optics” of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the Capitol were not good. In December, 2021, Col. Earl G.Matthews, an Army JAG lawyer, who also was on the call, accused Flynn of making willful distortions of the events on January 6, describing him and Lt. General Piatt as “absolute and unmitigated liars” and of giving “perjured testimony before Congress”.

Piatt and Flynn recommended that the locations away from the Capitol be identified where D.C. National Guard personnel could relieve Metropolitan Police (MPD) personnel of traffic duties, allowing more MPD personnel to go to the Capitol. Flynn specifically stated that the best use of National Guard personnel would be to free up MPD personnel by performing non-law enforcement duties away from the Capitol. They urged that a plan be developed. The call ended at approximately 2:55pm.

At about 3:05pm, Flynn was joined in a secure videoconference by retired Major General Willian J. Walker, the Commanding General of the D. C. National Guard, and by Col. Matthews and others. The videoconference was continuous until about 5:15pm, and was joined by many other high level DoD officials. It was not until 5:08pm that the Secretary of Defense authorized the D.C. National Guard to deploy to the Capitol in support of the Capitol Police.

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What Happened?

A 36-page report entitled “The Harder Right: An Analysis of a Recent DoD Inspector General Investigation and Other Matters” (December 1, 2021) by Col. Matthews, asked that a further investigation be done on the planning and coordination activities of Flynn and others actually performed after the breach of the Capitol and before the National Guard was deployed over 3 hours later.

Why this is important: Brigadier General Charles A. Flynn is the younger brother of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, in my opinion one of the key plotters of the 1/6 coup attempt. Was the younger Flynn in any way involved in the coup attempt? Let’s analyze it…

Mark Esper was Secretary of Defense from June 18, 2019 until he was abruptly fired by Trump on November 9, 2020, shortly after Trump lost the election. He was replaced by Christopher C. Miller, the Director of the National; counters Center, a Trump loyalist. Miller was accused by Biden’s staff of obstructing the transition to the Biden Administration. His chief of staff was Kash Patel, a former aide to Congressman Devin Nunes, and was notorious for his efforts to discredit investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

On January 3, 2021, all 10 living former defense secretaries raised concerns in an open letter that there could be a potential military coup to overturn the 2020 election results, warning Trump officials, and specifically naming Miller, that they would face grave consequences if they did this. Trump’s reaction was to order Miller to “do whatever was necessary to protect the demonstrators” on January 6. On January 4, Miller issued orders prohibiting deploying National Guard members with weapons, helmets, body armor, or riot control agents without his personal approval. In fact, Miller waited over three hours before authorizing the deployment of the National Guard.

The Flynns

Michael Flynn was a convicted felon who was pardoned by Trump in late November, 2020 for his past crimes, and he immediately urged Trump to declare martial law to “rerun” the 2020 election. On the night of December 19, 2020, he snuck into the White House with Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani with a draft executive order for Trump to sign that proposed a military seizure of voting machines and the appointment of Sidney Powell as a Special counsel to investigate the 2020 election. On the night of January 5, 2021, Flynn and another of his brothers held a “Freedom Rally” near the Capitol urging “Stop the Steal”.

Has the third Flynn brother, Charles A. Flynn, been penalized for his “slow walking” the DoD response to the 1/6 coup attempt? On the contrary, he has been promoted to four-star general and was awarded the command of the U.S. Army in the Pacific on June 4, 2021, headquartered in Hawaii. Under his command are Army forces in Hawaii, Alaska, the Pacific Ocean, South Korea and Japan.