In advance of Wednesday’s congressional hearing on “unexplained delays and unanswered questions” pertaining to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are revisiting the day’s events, focusing closely on the Defense Department’s actions. Central to this exercise is the timeline DoD released on Jan. 8, which was intended to “memorialize the planning and execution efforts” taken by the Pentagon in response to the violence unfolding three miles away. 

When it was made public, the timeline provided the public new information about how the day unfolded for senior Defense Department officials: who they spoke to and when they made key decisions. Since then, new testimony and reporting has revealed significant information was omitted from the document. And, as the AP reported in April, an internal DoD timeline — never released to the public — included pivotal moments that the public document failed to mention. 

One of the consequential conversations not included by DoD in its public timeline took place just after rioters had penetrated the scaffolding around the Capitol and were making their way into the building. During the phone call, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund pleaded with senior Army leaders for help. According to the testimony of at least three people on the call, Army leaders did not respond to those pleas with immediate support or affirmation. Instead, they raised concerns about how it would look to have members of the National Guard on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, as well as concerns that the presence of the Guard could inflame the rioters. The Pentagon did not disclose this conversation when it released its timeline in the days after Jan. 6. It also tried to hide the fact that Michael Flynn’s brother, Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, was one of the participants. Flynn, who serves as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training, later admitted to being on the call. 

Following this midday conversation, news of it started to immediately leak to journalists and officials in D.C. city government, who then began reporting that DoD had denied a request for additional support for the D.C. National Guard. This led to widespread confusion, especially as it soon emerged that, behind the scenes, Defense Department leaders were in the process of granting the authorities to mobilize the Guard. (Read the timeline for more on the distinction between the authorization to mobilize and the authorization to deploy the Guard.)

For those commanding the situation on the ground, the Defense Department’s response seemed unusual and unnecessarily slow. According to Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commander of the D.C. National Guard, he specifically told Congress that he didn’t receive approval to deploy his troops until three hours and 19 minutes after he first shared Sund’s frantic request for backup with the Army. 

Questions remain about why Defense Department leaders didn’t move faster; why they constrained Walker’s authorities in the days leading up to Jan. 6; why they weren’t in better communication with the people who needed to speak with them that day; and why they weren’t more forthcoming about the conversations they had and the decisions they made. Real mistakes were made and they are worth congressional and public scrutiny, but whatever bad decisions or failures of leadership took place at the Defense Department over the course of those fateful days, they should not distract from the bigger picture: Donald Trump urged his supporters to believe the fantasy that he won the election in a landslide and that the effort to certify Joe Biden’s win was a subversion of democracy. More important still, he continues to push this lie even after seeing how dangerous the consequences are for the country. 

With all of this in mind, we’ve crafted this timeline, using the original DoD timeline as its basis (in black text), but supplementing  it with information from reporting, congressional transcripts, interviews, and contemporaneous social media posts  to fill in some of the gaps and provide additional context (in blue text).. 

Thursday, December 31, 2020 (New Year’s Eve)

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Christopher Rodriguez, D.C. director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, deliver a written request for D.C. National Guard support to D.C. Metro Police Department (MPD) and Fire and Emergency Service.

Friday, January 1, 2021

According to his testimony, Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of the D.C. National Guard,  sends a letter to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy requesting approval for the mayor’s request. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller confers with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy on Bowser’s written request.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

DoD confirms with U.S. Capitol Police that there is no request for DoD support.

Miller meets with select members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to discuss DoD support to law enforcement agencies and potential requirements for DoD support.

Miller and Milley meet with Trump. According to the Defense Department, “the president concurs in activation of the D.C. National Guard to support law enforcement.”

Monday, January 4, 2021

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving meet to discuss a possible role for the D.C. National Guard on Jan. 6. In written testimony, Sund and Irving disagree on whether there was agreement on the role that the Guard should play. Irving testified that “We did discuss whether the intelligence warranted having troops at the Capitol, and our collective judgment at that time was no—the intelligence did not warrant that.” Irving said the proposal discussed on Jan. 4 was to use National Guard troops for traffic duty to free up U.S. Capitol Police officers. “Our ultimate need for the National Guard was starkly different than unarmed troops for traffic duty,” he testified. 

Sund testified that he approached Stenger and Irving to request the assistance of the National Guard, because he had no authority to do so without an Emergency Declaration by the Capitol Police Board. Irving told him he was “concerned about the ‘optics’ of having National Guard present and didn’t feel that the intelligence supported it.” According to Sund, Stenger suggested he ask the D.C. National Guard “how quickly we could get support if needed and to ‘lean forward’ in case we had to request assistance on January 6.”

Following this suggestion, Sund says he calls Walker, who tells him “that he could repurpose nearby National Guard and have them to me fairly quickly, once approved.”

U.S. Capitol Police confirms there is no requirement for DoD support in a phone call with McCarthy. 

Miller, in consultation with Milley, McCarthy and the Defense Department’s general counsel Paul Ney, reviews the Pentagon’s plan to be prepared to provide support to civil authorities, if asked, and approves activation of 340 members of the D.C. National Guard to support Mayor Bowser’s request. According to DoD, the Guard members are provided for: Traffic Control Points: 90 personnel (180 total/2 shifts); Metro station support: 24 personnel (48 total/2 shifts); Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team: 20 personnel; and Internal Command and Control: 52 personnel.

Miller also authorizes McCarthy to deploy a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of 40 personnel staged at Joint Base Andrews) if additional support is requested by civil authorities.

Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, the violent far-right group, is arrested in Washington, D.C. on his way into the city from the airport.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Mayor Bowser delivers a letter addressed to acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Miller, and McCarthy confirming that there are no additional support requirements from the D.C. [sic]

Bowser tweets, “To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway.” Her letter cites the Trump administration’s use of armed “unidentifiable personnel” during the summer’s protests and how their deployment caused confusion for the city’s residents and law enforcement officers.

Walker receives approval in a letter dated Jan. 5 from McCarthy “granting support of the MPD with 340 total personnel to include 40 personnel assigned to a Quick Reaction Force.” However, Walker notes in his written congressional testimony that this letter from McCarthy “withheld” the authority for him to actually deploy this force. McCarthy’s letter also required that a “concept of operation” or CONOP be submitted to McCarthy before any employment of the QRF. “I found that requirement to be unusual as was the requirement to seek approval to move Guardsmen supporting MPD to move from one traffic control point to another,” Walker wrote. “Nineteen years I never had that before happen,” Walker said during a congressional hearing.

255 D.C. National Guard members arrive in the city and begin to manage traffic control points alongside local law enforcement.

The FBI Field Office in Norfolk, Va., issues a warning that extremists were planning on traveling to D.C. and committing violence on Jan. 6. According to news reports and subsequent testimony, Sund was not made aware of this report. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

8:30 Miller and Milley review DoD’s plan to support law enforcement agencies and request an exercise regarding DoD contingency response options.

11:30 Miller participates in a table-top exercise regarding DoD contingency response options.

12:00 Trump begins his speech, telling the crowd, “We will never give up, we will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.” 

12:52 Sund receives word that a pipe bomb has been found at the Republican National Committee Headquarters, immediately adjacent to Capitol Grounds. Sund also testified that at the same time, “we observed a large group of individuals approaching the West Front of the Capitol.” He said, “It was immediately clear that their primary goal was to defeat our perimeter as quickly as possible and to get past the police line. This mob was like nothing I have seen in my law enforcement career. The group consisted of thousands of well-coordinated, well-equipped violent criminals. They had weapons, chemical munitions, protective equipment, explosives, and climbing gear. A number of them were wearing radio earpieces indicating a high level of coordination.” 

12:58 Sund asks for MPD’s assistance to address the growing violent mob at the Capitol and they respond immediately. 

Walker testified that if he’d been given the authority to do so he “would have immediately pulled all the guardsmen that were supporting the Metropolitan Police Department,” deployed them to the Capitol and told them to “report to the most ranking Capitol Police officer they saw and take direction.” He told Congress that one of his lieutenant colonels went to the Capitol when the MPD did, anticipating that the D.C. Guard would quickly be sent there too. “He met with Deputy Chief [Jeffrey] Carroll of the Metropolitan Police Department who asked him, where is the National Guard? How come you’re not here? And this colonel said, ‘Well, I’m sure they’re coming. And I’m here to scout out where they’re going to be when they get here.’ So that was the plan. I would have sent them there immediately. As soon as I hung up, my next call would have been to my subordinate commanders get every single guardsman in this building, and everybody that’s helping the Metropolitan Police. Remission them to the Capitol, without delay.”

1:05 Miller receives open-source reports of demonstrator movements to U.S. Capitol.

1:09 Sund notifies the two Sergeants at Arms that he “urgently needed support and asked them to declare a State of Emergency and authorize the National Guard.” Sund testified that Irving tells him he needs to “run it up the chain of command.” When Sund checks back in, Irving tells him he “was waiting to hear back from congressional leadership, but expected authorization at any moment.”

Note: Irving disputes the timeline saying Sund’s request came at 1:28 or 2:00 p.m.; acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman’s subsequent testimony supports Sund’s account and is based on phone records obtained by Capitol Police.

1:10 Trump ends his speech, urging his followers to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol.

1:16 According to law enforcement radio traffic obtained by the New York Times, police officers are already reporting multiple injuries and calling for backup. 

1:26 U.S. Capitol Police orders evacuation of the U.S. Capitol complex.

1:34 McCarthy has a phone call with Mayor Bowser in which Bowser communicates a request for an unspecified number of additional forces.

1:35 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell begins debate over Arizona’s 11 electoral votes by warning that rejecting the voters’ will and overturning the election would mean “our democracy would enter a death spiral.”

1:44 The crowd penetrates the scaffolding outside the Capitol Building, giving them key entry points into the building. 

1:49 Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of the D.C. National Guard, receives a phone call from Steven Sund, chief of the U.S. Capitol Police. Sund communicates a request for immediate assistance. According to Walker, Sund’s voice was “cracking with emotion,” and he “indicated that there was a dire emergency on Capitol Hill and requested the immediate assistance of as many Guardsmen as I could muster.”

Immediately following the 1:49 phone call: Walker immediately calls Army leaders to tell them about Sund’s request. This call is not included in the public timeline DoD released. 

2:10 Rioters breach police lines on the west or Senate side of the Capitol.

According to the AP, Sund calls Walker again and asks for at least 200 guard members “and to send more if they are available.”

2:20 Both houses of Congress adjourn and begin to evacuate.  

2:22 McCarthy speaks by phone with Bowser, the deputy mayor, Rodriguez, and MPD leadership to discuss the current situation and the request for additional National Guard support.

At this point, the DoD timeline omits a key conversation, which includes Sund and Walker, that is either an extension of the call noted above or is a separate phone call. It is unclear for which parts McCarthy is present as individuals’ testimonies are conflicting. 

Sund told the Washington Post that he informed Pentagon leaders on the call: “I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance. I have got to get boots on the ground.” Similarly, John Falcicchio, Bowser’s chief of staff, told the Washington Post, “Literally, this guy is on the phone, I mean, crying out for help. It’s burned in my memories.” Walker also testified, “And during that call Chief Sund pleaded to have National Guard support at the Capitol immediately. That was reinforced by Chief Contee, ‘We need them there right now, the Capitol will be breached.’” 

In his written testimony, senior Pentagon official Robert Salesses reaffirmed the timeline and referred to McCarthy having been on a call with the mayor and her staff, but did not note the presence of anyone else. Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army Staff, who was also on the call, told multiple reporters, “As soon as Sec. McCarthy received the specific request for assistance from the Capitol Police on the phone call at 2:22 p.m., he ran to the Acting Secretary of Defense’s office to request approval.” On Jan. 11, Pentagon reporter Jennifer Griffin said she was told, “Piatt was taking notes for Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy on the call and then took over when McCarthy ran down to Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller’s office for approval.”

However, McCarthy told the Washington Post (in a Jan. 12 interview) that he was not on the call. Walker also testified that McCarthy did not join the call. “We dialed in trying to get the Secretary of the Army on the call but he wasn’t available,” Walker told the Senate. Walker also said, “We wanted the secretary of the Army to join the call, but he was not available. We were told that he was with the secretary of defense and not available.” 

[Contee’s written testimony and Piatt’s statements corroborate that this was the same 2:22pm conference call. In further corroboration, Sund said he joined the call at 2:28. Walker also testified that Sund had “later joined that conversation.”]

Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the brother of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was also on the call, although his participation in this key meeting was initially and repeatedly denied by the Army for several days. “HE WAS NOT IN ANY OF THE MEETINGS!” an Army official said, for example, in an email to The Post. The Army and Flynn later admitted he was on the call. Flynn serves as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and training.

According to several reports and congressional testimony, during the call, Army officials expressed concerns about the optics of sending the Guard to the Capitol, although Army officials have disputed this account. According to Sund’s written testimony, Piatt said on the call, “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing in a line with the Capitol in the background.” (“Sund’s account is supported by four D.C. officials on the call, including Bowser,” the Washington Post reports.) Walker also testified that Piatt and Flynn raised the concerns about optics and concerns that the Guard’s presence “could inflame the protesters.” In written testimony, Contee said he was “stunned at the response from [the] Department of the Army.”

In a Jan. 11 statement that the Army issued on his behalf, Piatt denied he said anything about optics. “I did not make the statement or any comments similar to what was attributed to me by Chief Sund in the Washington Post article,” the statement read.

But over a week later, Piatt told reporters that he did not recall whether he cited the optics as a concern for the Pentagon. “What we’re getting from some of the note-takers in the room is that I may have said that,” Piatt added.  

When Flynn admitted that he was on the call, Flynn said he was there for only four minutes, “I just don’t recall saying anything to the audience on the other end,” he added.

Neither Piatt nor Flynn have testified.

Sund said that after Piatt initially pushed back, Piatt “indicated that he was going to run the request up the chain of command at the Pentagon.” Walker testified that Flynn and Piatt “both said it wouldn’t be in their best military advice to advise the secretary of the Army to have uniformed guards members at the Capitol during the election confirmation.” 

At a press conference on the night of Jan. 6, McCarthy appeared with Bowser and said this about the period between the request and the approval to deploy the D.C. Guard: “For us to truly understand the specifics behind their request and how we would support the operations, a lot of questions were asked, a little bit of confusion. But as we worked through it, we ultimately made the determination about a half hour later to mobilize the entire DC National Guard. This has been incredibly fluid, but I have to go through the Secretary of Defense, ultimately, to get the final approval to mobilize personnel as well as to conduct operations in cooperation and coordination with the local authorities.”

2:24 Trump tweets, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”

2:25 According to the AP, McCarthy tells his staff to prepare to move the emergency reaction force to the Capitol. 

2:28 The police line that was holding back the rioters is overtaken and the crowd takes over the lower terrace of the U.S. Capitol Building. Amidst brutal attacks, Metropolitan Police are ordered to pull back up to the upper deck. A call goes out for emergency assistance, meaning all units should respond. 

2:30 Miller, Milley, and McCarthy meet to discuss the requests from the U.S. Capitol Police and Mayor Bowser. 

2:31 Bowser issues a citywide curfew for all D.C. residents starting at 6 p.m.

2:38 Trump tweets, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

2:44 Trump supporter Ashli Babbit is fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer. 

2:55 A Washington Post reporter tweets that DoD has denied a request for more Guardsmen. 

3:00 Miller determines all available forces of the D.C. National Guard are required to reinforce MPD and U.S. Capitol Police positions to support efforts to reestablish security of the Capitol complex.

3:00 McCarthy directs the D.C. National Guard to prepare available Guard members to move from the armory to the Capitol complex, while seeking formal approval from Miller for deployment. The D.C. Guard prepares to move 150 personnel to support the U.S. Capitol Police, pending Miller’s approval.

Note: This appears to be admission from DoD that Miller, at this time, had still refrained from granting formal approval to deploy the Guard.

3:00 Walker directs the quick reaction force that was based at Andrews Air Force Base to leave the base to get to the armory as fast as possible. “I had a police escort bring them to the armory. They returned to the armory in about 20 minutes. So we had them sitting there waiting.”

3:04 Miller, with advice from Milley, Ney, the chief of the National Guard Bureau (Gen. Daniel Hokanson), McCarthy, and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville, provides verbal approval of the full activation of the D.C. National Guard (1,100 total) in support of the Metropolitan Police Department. Immediately upon Miller’s approval, McCarthy directs the D.C. National Guard to initiate movement and full mobilization.

In response, the Guard redeployed all soldiers from positions at Metro stations and all available non-support and non-C2 personnel to support the police. The D.C. Guard begins full mobilization.

A note on how to read the DoD Timeline’s references to “mobilization”/”activation” versus “deployment” of the Guard:

An order/authorization for “mobilization”/”activation” is a step short of an order/authorization for “deployment.” Yet the DoD Timeline does not make this clear. Also, statements by DoD officials confuse the matter further. Piatt, for example, said, “The approval to deploy was received approximately forty minutes after that [2:22pm] call initiated.” But the timeline refers to an approval only to mobilize at 3:04 p.m. with an approval to deploy coming hours later. The DoD timeline and statements like Piatt’s may give a false sense of earlier action on the part of DoD. This distinction became clearer in a March 3 Senate hearing with Salesses, a senior DoD official. In response to questions from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Salesses said, “what Secretary Miller did, at 15:04, on 6 January, was authorized the mobilization or activation of the National Guard, the D.C. National Guard. All that does is provide for the National Guard to be called in from wherever their homes are to come to the armory. That’s what the mobilization activation order was.” 

This also appears to have caused confusion for officials on Capitol Hill and in city government. Sen. Blunt replied:

“I wonder if that’s what … Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi thought it meant. … And I also wonder if that’s what Mayor Bowser thought it meant, when they were told at 3:19 and 3:26, that the Guard was–has been mobilized and the Guard was being activated. … I know I would have assumed that that meant the Guard was on the way, unless I was specifically told, well, they’re mobilized, but they really won’t be there until we make a decision hours later.”

3:13 Trump tweets, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

3:19 McCarthy has a phone call with Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the nature of Mayor Bowser’s request. McCarthy explains Miller already approved full DCNG mobilization.

3:26 McCarthy speaks by phone with Bowser and MPD police chief, Robert Contee, and relays there was no denial of their request, and conveys Miller’s approval of the activation of the full D.C. Guard.

Note: The DoD timeline states that McCarthy relayed that “there was no denial of their request.” But this appears to omit that there was no formal approval yet of their request to deploy the Guard either. It would be an hour or more later before Miller’s approval of deployment. 

3:36 White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweets, “At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services. We reiterate President Trump’s call against violence and to remain peaceful.”

3:37 The Pentagon sends its own security forces to guard the homes of defense leaders (source: AP reporting of internal DOD timeline).

3:38 D.C. Council tweets out a statement about the Defense Department “denying” Mayor Bowser’s request to “expand the responsibilities of the D.C. National Guard so that they would be authorized to protect and restore order at the Capitol.” 

3:45 Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger tells Sund that he will ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to call McCarthy to help get the National Guard authorized more quickly.

3:46 Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, has a phone call with the Adjutant General (TAG) of Virginia, Maj. Gen. Timothy Williams, to discuss support in Washington D.C. Williams said the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, had ordered mobilization of forces at 3:32.

3:48 McCarthy leaves the Pentagon for MPD headquarters. 

3:55  Hokanson speaks by phone with Maryland’s TAG, Maj. Gen. Timothy Gowen, to discuss support in Washington D.C. Gowen said Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, ordered the mobilization of the rapid response force. Gowen reports that Hogan had ordered mobilization of the rapid response force at 3:47.

4:08 Vice President Mike Pence urgently calls Miller from the secure location to which he’d been evacuated. This call was not included in the public timeline DoD released, but reported by the AP and sourced to an internal Pentagon document containing a timeline. The call lasted only a minute. “Pence said the Capitol was not secure and he asked military leaders for a deadline for securing the building,” according to the AP. “Clear the Capitol,” Pence demands.

Note: The Vice President is not in the chain of command, and does not have the authority to order the defense secretary to deploy force.  

4:10 McCarthy arrives at MPD Headquarters.

4:17 Trump tweets a video in which he tells his followers to “go home and go home in peace,” but also repeats his claim that the election was stolen and that he won in a “landslide.” He tells the rioters, “We love you; you’re very special.”

4:18 Miller, Milley, McCarthy, and Hokanson discuss the availability of National Guard forces from other states in the region. Miller gives voice approval for out-of-state National Guard forces to muster and to be prepared to deploy to D.C.

4:32 Miller provides verbal authorization to re-mission the D.C. National Guard to conduct perimeter and clearance operations in support of the U.S. Capitol Police. McCarthy to provide public notification of support.

4:40 McCarthy has a phone call with Hogan, the governor of Maryland. Hogan to send Maryland Guard troops to D.C., expected to arrive on January 7, 2021.

Schumer and Pelosi are on the phone again with Milley and Pentagon leadership, asking that they secure the perimeter of the Capitol. This call was not included in the public DoD timeline, but, according to the AP, part of an internal DoD timeline. That internal document notes the call lasted 30 minutes and congressional leadership on the call “accuses the National Security apparatus of knowing that protestors planned to conduct an assault on the Capitol.” 

5:02 Departure of 154 D.C. Guard members from the D.C. Armory in support of the U.S. Capitol Police. They arrive at the Capitol at 5:40, swear in with U.S. Capitol Police, and begin support operations. Walker, commander of the D.C. National Guard, says the Guard actually begins arriving at the Capitol at 5:20pm (in under 20 minutes after Walker finally gets approval at 5:08 p.m.).

5:08 Army senior leaders finally relay Miller’s approval to Walker, which, according to Walker’s written testimony, is 3 hours and 19 minutes after he first shares Sund’s frantic request for backup with the Army. He said Miller’s approval was given to him during a video conference with Army leadership. 

There is no explanation of the 36-minute gap between the time Miller conveyed his authorization of approval to the Army and the Army’s leadership informing Walker of the approval. In a Senate hearing, Salesses acknowledges the failure in his exchange with Senator Blunt. 

5:36 Sund briefs Pence on the current security posture. Pence initiates a call with Pelosi and Sund advises both of them that the Chambers could be safely re-occupied by 7:30 p.m.

5:45 Miller signs formal authorization for out-of-state Guard troops to muster and gives voice approval for deployment in support of the U.S. Capitol Police.

6:01 Trump tweets, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

6:14 The U.S. Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police, and the D.C. National Guard successfully establish a perimeter on the west side of the U.S. Capitol.

7:36 Miller provides vocal approval to lease fences in support of the U.S. Capitol Police for security of the Capitol building.

8:00 The U.S. Capitol Police declares the Capitol building secure.

8:06 Pence reopens the Senate and the certification of the election results continues. 

9:00 Pelosi brings the House back into session.

Jan. 7, 2021

3:42 a.m. Pence officially affirms the election results and declares Joe Biden the president-elect

Important note: 

The DoD Timeline includes no reference of any communications between the Pentagon and the White House on Jan. 6. Miller’s chief of staff Kash Patel later said, “I was talking to [White House chief of staff, Mark] Meadows, nonstop that day.” 

“President Trump initially rebuffed and resisted requests to mobilize the National Guard, according to a person with knowledge of the events. It required intervention from the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, among other officials,” the New York Times reported.

According to Trump’s and Meadows accounts, Trump was directly involved in approving the deployment of the National Guard. In prepared remarks on Jan. 7, Trump said, “I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.”

On Jan. 6, Miller released a statement saying, “Chairman Milley and I just spoke separately with the Vice President and with Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Senator Schumer and Representative Hoyer about the situation at the U.S. Capitol.” Reporters noted that absent from the list of individuals was Trump.

In separate interviews, Miller and Patel insist that they neither tried nor needed to contact the president on Jan. 6 since they had already gotten approval to deploy forces. However, another senior defense official said, “They couldn’t get through. They tried to call him.”

Editor’s Note: Here isa list of questions that Congress should ask as they investigate the events of Jan. 6. 

Image credit: Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police keep a small group of demonstrators away from the Capital after thousands of Donald Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol building following a “Stop the Steal” rally on January 06, 2021 (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)