On Friday, CNN reported that Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commander of the Washington, D.C. National Guard, "strongly" considered deploying forces to put down the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol without authorization, as orders from the Trump administration failed to come.
This detail was revealed in the 845-page final report by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack, which was released last night.
“Major General Walker himself understood he had to wait for approval from Secretary (Ryan) McCarthy to deploy his forces. But as he waited on that video call for hours, he did strongly consider sending them anyway,” said the report. “He turned to his lawyer and said, ‘Hey, you know what? You know, we’re going to go, and I’m just going to shoulder the responsibility.’”
"The committee’s findings are based on its interview with Walker and other National Guard officials who were with him on January 6. The panel also interviewed top Defense Department officials involved in the National Guard response," said the report. "National Guard officials who were with Walker on January 6 when pro-Trump rioters breached the US Capitol testified that Walker 'seriously contemplated aloud the possibility of breaking with the chain of command,' the report says. 'Should we just deploy now and resign tomorrow?' one National Guard lieutenant recalled Walker bluntly putting it, the report states. 'I would have done just that,' Walker said, 'but not for those two letters' from his superiors curtailing Guard redeployment, according to the committee report."
Ultimately, as Trump continued to be unwilling to deploy the Guard, it was Vice President Mike Pence — responsible for certifying the electoral count, as Trump supporters outside called for him to be lynched — who broke the chain of command and gave the order for deployment.
A counter-report released by the Republican minority has tried to instead claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was responsible for security failures. However, Pelosi is not in the military chain of command, and video footage released by the committee shows her and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer asking those in it for help.