Trump Authorized National Guard for Jan. 6 but Congress, DC Didn’t Request Its Use, Former Aide Says

Under the law, a president can't order domestic deployment of Guard; local officials must request it
By Joseph M. Hanneman
Joseph M. Hanneman
Joseph M. Hanneman
Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol incursion and its aftermath; and general news in the State of Wisconsin. His work over a nearly 40-year career has appeared in Catholic World Report, the Racine Journal Times, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Chicago Tribune. Reach him at: joseph.hanneman@epochtimes.us
July 25, 2022 Updated: July 27, 2022

A claim by the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee that President Donald Trump didn’t order the use of National Guard troops in the District of Columbia on Jan. 6, 2021, is true because that would have been a violation of the law, former Pentagon chief of staff Kash Patel says.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told Fox News’ Bret Baier that Trump “never issued any order to deploy the National Guard to protect the Capitol.”

Patel said that Trump authorized up to 20,000 National Guard troops for use in D.C. or elsewhere on Jan. 6, 2021, but the use of those troops was later rejected by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the U.S. Capitol Police.

Under the law, the president can’t order the deployment of the military for use inside the United States, Patel said. At the time of the Jan. 6, 2021, unrest, Patel was chief of staff for Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller.

“She knows the truth—45 [Trump] authorized the National Guard days before Jan. 6, and Pelosi and Bowser rejected it,” Patel told The Epoch Times. “Cheney knows it’s unconstitutional for any president to ever order the military to deploy domestically. He may only authorize their use, then there must be a request.

Epoch Times Photo
In the new documentary, “The Real Story of Jan. 6,” Kash Patel, former chief of staff for the U.S. secretary of defense, said National Guard troops were rejected by Capitol Police and the D.C. mayor. (Screenshot/EpochTV)

“By her own quote, she has cleared Trump of the very thing she has accused him of from Day 1—an insurrection,” Patel said. “So, yes, Trump never made that illegal order. He followed the law.”

Authorized 20,000 Guard Troops

As Patel explains in the new EpochTV documentary, “The Real Story of Jan. 6,” Trump authorized as many as 20,000 Guard troops for use on Jan. 6, 2021, during a meeting several days earlier. The offer of troops was rejected by Bowser and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), he said.

Under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, the U.S. military can’t be used domestically for enforcing laws or keeping order. Part-time citizen-soldiers can only be used under certain conditions.

“The Supreme Court said two things must happen,” said Patel, the host of “Kash’s Corner” on EpochTV. “One: the President of the United States has to authorize, not order, the use of the National Guard.

Epoch Times Photo
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser rejected President Trump’s offer of National Guard troops on January 6 in this letter a day before. (Kash Patel/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

“Once that happens, step two has to happen as well before they can be deployed,” he said, “and that is a request from the head of state, the governor, or in this case, Mayor Bowser because it’s Washington, D.C. Or federal law enforcement needs to request the National Guard to be deployed.

“If those two things don’t happen, then any issuance of the National Guard would be literally unconstitutional.”

According to the U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General’s report regarding the events of Jan. 6, 2021, the use of National Guard troops was discussed during a White House meeting on Jan. 3, 2021.

In attendance were Miller, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley, presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Patel.

“The President told Mr. Miller that there would be a large number of protestors on January 6, 2021, and Mr. Miller should ensure sufficient National Guard or soldiers would be there to make sure it was a safe event.”

Patel said at the end of the meeting that Trump brought up Jan. 6, 2021.

“President Trump pivoted and said, basically, ‘Hey, what are you guys doing for security’—I’m paraphrasing here—‘for anything that might happen on Jan. 6?’

“He said, ‘If you need up to 20,000 National Guardsmen and women, not just in Washington, D.C., but anywhere in the country, you have my authorization,’” Patel recalled.

The Defense Department then took the presidential authorization to the U.S. Capitol Police and Bowser.

“Mayor Bowser, in writing, pursuant to her own letter that we released from her, sent to the Department of Defense, declined to issue any more National Guardsmen and women,” Patel said.

The same authorization was taken to the Capitol Police, which declined additional National Guard personnel, Patel said.

Official Jan. 6 Timeline

According to the Capitol Police’s official Jan. 6, 2021, timeline, the Pentagon contacted USCP on Jan. 2, 2021, to “determine whether USCP is considering a request for National Guard soldiers for Jan. 6, 2021, event.”

Epoch Times Photo
Former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 31, 2022. (The Epoch Times)

A day later, Capitol Police Deputy Chief Sean Gallagher responded that “a request for National Guard support is not forthcoming at this time after consultation with COP [chief of police] Sund.”

During a June appearance on the Fox News program “Hannity,” Miller recalled the meeting in which the use of the National Guard was discussed.

“The president said while we’re leaving, ‘Hey, one more thing,’ and we all sat back down and discussed what was going on on Jan. 6th,” Miller said.

“The president was doing just what I expect the commander in chief to do, any commander in chief to do. He was looking at the broad threats against the United States and he brought this up on his own. We did not bring it up.”

Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol incursion and its aftermath; and general news in the State of Wisconsin. His work over a nearly 40-year career has appeared in Catholic World Report, the Racine Journal Times, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Chicago Tribune. Reach him at: joseph.hanneman@epochtimes.us