The Democrat-controlled House Oversight Committee held a hearing today on the Capitol riots where the focus, per the way the hearing was billed, was the “unexplained delays and unanswered questions” in the aftermath of what happened on January 6th.
In particular, “this hearing will focus in particular on the Trump Administration’s preparations in advance of January 6 and response to the attacks,” Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney said in a statement posted to the committee’s website.
The hearing included three featured witnesses: Former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III.
While much will be said and written and micro-dissected in the coming days about the testimonies given today, the one that unquestionably got the most attention from the media and left-wing politicos came from Miller, who made a number of interesting claims during the hearing about his role in days leading up to the speech Trump gave that day:
In the full written statement Miller submitted to the committee, he detailed multiple conversations with Trump in the days before the riot. Trump, Miller said, indicated that the Pentagon should give D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) any support she requested, and guessed that “they” would need 10,000 troops on Jan. 6 to contain the throngs of Trump’s supporters who came to the nation’s capital for a “Stop the Steal” rally. Miller omitted those passages, and his criticism of Trump’s speech to rally-goers, from the opening statement he delivered Wednesday, though later on, under questioning from lawmakers, he affirmed those points in his written testimony.
But when asked point-blank by the panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), whether Trump upheld his constitutional oath, Miller was resolute in defending the former president. “Yes,” he replied.
JUST NOW: In the House Oversight Committee Hearing, Former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller just stated, “President Trump gave me complete authority.”
— Congressman Byron Donalds (@RepDonaldsPress) May 12, 2021
One claim, in particular, caused a lot of head explosions on the left:
!!! Per former Trump Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, Trump told him DC National Guard *should* be activated as requested by DC mayor Muriel Bowser…..
Trump said, “Do whatever is necessary to protect the demonstrators, executing their constitutionally protected rights”
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 12, 2021
Watch as Miller, under questioning from freshman Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), confirms Trump told him to do what was necessary to protect those attending his rally:
WATCH: Trump Defense Secretary Chris Miller says the day before he issued his stand down order he met with Trump, who told him to “protect the demonstrators” (not the Capitol/congress/etc)pic.twitter.com/yGnpXdtjhq
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 12, 2021
From reading what Miller had to say today and then hearing what he told Donalds, my first thought was that this confirmed that Trump was approving D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request for support in whatever capacity necessary. However, the reactions among prominent leftists on social media interpreted the comments to mean that Trump was ordering Miller to protect those who stormed the Capitol building:
Trump wanted the military to protect his mob.
Not protect the Capitol, not protect Congress, not protect his own vice president. But protect his mob that he called in from the four corners to assemble on that day in DC. https://t.co/58JZzGNaYl
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) May 12, 2021
Well, this is new.
Trump told his acting Secretary of Defense to use military force for what purpose?
Miller: Trump said “do whatever was necessary to protect the demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights.”
Occurs in their Jan. 3 meeting. pic.twitter.com/jnEDYVUzsK
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) May 12, 2021
Trump’s response to Mayor Bowser’s request for national guard on Jan. 6: “Do whatever’s necessary to protect the demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights.”
Not the lawmakers. Not the police. Not the staffers. His focus was protecting the rioters. https://t.co/UJiJixLBgZ
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 12, 2021
Trump was afraid Jan 6 insurrectionists would be mistreated https://t.co/vR7j2JdtAB
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) May 12, 2021
I …. just did not get this at all from what Miller claimed during the hearing. I’m not the only one who didn’t interpret that out of what Miller said, either. Donalds’ press team also retweeted out MacFarlane’s tweet quoting Miller’s remarks.