The U.S. Army initially rejected calls from the District of Columbia for assistance ahead of the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the deadly Capitol insurrection.
An internal draft memo obtained by the Washington Post shows Army leadership was reluctant to provide National Guard or other troops to assist police with traffic or crowd management unless more than 100,000 demonstrators were expected, and gave other excuses for denying the request.
The draft memo called for denying the request because a federal agency had not been identified to oversee preparations and operations and because the resources of other federal agencies hasn't been used up, and claimed law enforcement was "far better suited" to handle security for the rally.
The Army eventually agreed to take part under pressure from acting defense secretary Christopher Miller and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, and after realizing that D.C. officials weren't going to ask the Justice Department for help, as military officials preferred.
Army secretary Ryan McCarthy agreed to the request if a lead agency was identified and all other federal agencies exhausted their own resources helping in the response.