A former D.C. National Guard official is accusing two generals of lying to Congress about their lack of action on Jan. 6, Politico reports. On Monday (Dec. 6), the outlet reported on Col. Earl Matthews’ 36-page memo, in which he accuses Gen. Charles Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt of being “absolute and unmitigated liars” and creating a “false narrative” about what happened during the U.S. Capitol riot.
Matthews, who served on the National Security Council and in the Pentagon under the Trump administration, said the Pentagon’s inspector general’s report about the Jan. 6 attack contained “glaring errors.” The report, Matthews claims, was written to protect an Army official who delayed the National Guard’s response to violent pro-Trump rioters.
In his memo, Matthews said “every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond” to the riot “and knew they could” respond. However, Matthews claims, Piatt and Flynn said “that the optics of having uniformed military personnel deployed to the U.S. Capitol would not be good” and they instead suggested deploying National Guardsmen to take over D.C. police’s traffic responsibilities so cops could respond to the Capitol.
Matthews’ account contradicts Piatt’s response to a question from the House Oversight Committee in June, where he stated, “At no point on Jan. 6 did I tell anyone that the D.C. National Guard should not deploy directly to the Capitol.”
At the time, Flynn also claimed to the committee that he “never expressed a concern about the visuals, image or public perception of” sending National Guardsmen to defend the Capitol.
In his memo, Matthews called Flynn and Piatt’s responses “outright perjury.”
“Our Army has never failed us and did not do so on January 6, 2021. However, occasionally some of our Army leaders have failed us and they did so on January 6th,” he wrote. “Then they lied about it and tried to cover it up. They tried to smear a good man and to erase history.”
Spokesperson Mike Brady responded to Matthews’ allegations to Politico, saying the Army’s “actions on Jan. 6 have been well-documented and reported on and Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt have been open, honest and thorough in their sworn testimony with Congress and DOD investigators.”