Officials had ‘Genuine Concerns Trump Would Use Military to Overturn Election

  • The January 6 House committee found evidence that top military officers had “genuine concern” about Trump using military force to overturn the election.
  • Trump’s Secretary to the Army didn’t deny that top Pentagon officials were worried.
  • This revelation provides additional context for why top officials were so vocal about clarifying the military’s role. 

January 6th House committee found evidence that civilian and military personnel who worked under Donald Trump had “genuine fears” that he would use the military to alter the 2020 election results. This confirmed reports that there were real concerns about an American coup.

“Our investigation suggests President Trump’s civilian and military personnel had genuine concerns about using the military to alter the election results,” the committee wrote in an appendix of its final report, which was released Thursday evening. “Again at this point, there is not evidence that the Department of Defense was aware of what President Trump and associates planned for January 6.

The panel asked Ryan McCarthy, Army Secretary, about his concerns. Trump’s nominee to lead the Army didn’t dismiss them.

“There was a lot talk in the lead up about martial law. . . McCarthy stated that McCarthy was aware of the issue of the employment of forces and that it was something McCarthy had spoken to the committee.

The panel’s shocking conclusion shows why top Pentagon officials, both current and former, went to great lengths in order to ensure the American people knew that the military would not get involved.

“We have established a very long tradition of an impartial military that does not get involved with domestic politics for over 240 years,” Gen. Mark Milley chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. told NPR in October 2020.

Milley was much more blunt in private, according to “I Alone Can Fix It.” The nation’s most powerful officer was telling colleagues and lawmakers that any Trump-led attempted coups would fail. Milley also compared Trump with Hitler.

“They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” Milley told his deputies, according to the book. “You cannot do this without the military. This is possible only with the CIA or the FBI. We are the guys with the guns.

The committee concluded that coup fears came at a cost. Top commanders were so concerned about the optics near the Capitol that they refused to grant Muriel Bowser’s request to send National Guard troops to assist with traffic control and control on January 6, 2021.

Officials ultimately rejected any suggestion that troops should be stationed at Capitol South, one the closest DC Metro stops to Washington, DC.

Guard troops were moved further away from the Capitol Complex when the riot broke out. 

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