Transcript: J6 Committee May Have ‘Hid’ Evidence Trump Called For 10,000 National Guard Troops

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Released transcripts of an interview with Anthony Ornato, the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff under President Donald Trump, show that the former leader took action to send 10,000 troops to Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, to secure the nation’s capital.

Despite being present for the interview, former representative and Vice Chair of the January 6 Select Committee Liz Cheney and the J6 Select Committee have never released the evidence.

Chairman of the Committee on House Administration’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), made the transcript of his interview with Ornato public after Mollie Hemmingway at The Federalist published it.

Loudermilk told Hemmingway, “The former J6 Select Committee apparently withheld Mr. Ornato’s critical witness testimony from the American people because it contradicted their pre-determined narrative.”

“Mr. Ornato’s testimony proves what Mr. Meadows has said all along, President Trump did offer 10,000 National Guard troops to secure the US Capitol, which was turned down. This is just one example of important information the former Select Committee hid from the public because it contradicted what they wanted the American people to believe. And this is exactly why my investigation is committed to uncovering all the facts, no matter the outcome,” Loudermilk added.

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In the transcript, Soumya Dayananda, a senior investigative counsel, interviewed Ornato as part of the investigation.

At one point, Dayananda asked Ornato: “When it comes to the National Guard statement about having 10,000 troops or any other number of troops, do you recall any discussion prior to the 6th about whether and how many National Guard troops to deploy on January 6th?”

As per the transcript, Ornato confirmed that he remembered a phone conversation with former Trump White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, and DC Mayor, Muriel Bowser, where it was mentioned that Trump was eager to ensure and was “ready to request for 10,000” National Guard troops.

Ornato explained further that Bowser had only “350 or so for intersection control” and that these were not for “law enforcement capacity at the time.”

“That’s the only thing I recall with that number 10,000 National Guard guardsmen,” Ornato added. “And then I remember the chief telling [Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher] Miller, ‘Get them in here, get them in here to secure the Capitol now.’”

Former Rep. Liz Cheney and the J6 Committee reported that there was “no evidence” of Trump calling for 10,000 National Guard troops to control any unrest.

Earlier this year, House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) tore into the Nancy Pelosi-picked Select Committee on January 6 for reportedly deleting or password-protecting some 2 terabytes worth of data just days before Republicans took over the House a year ago.

The House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, responsible for investigating both the 2021 Capitol riot and the prior Democrat-led inquiry into the riot, discovered that during the chamber’s transition to GOP control in January 2023, over 100 files were encrypted and deleted from hard drives, the New York Post reported.

The select committee was expected to provide Republican Chairman Barry Loudermilk of Georgia with four terabytes of archived data.

The outlet, however, reported that his committee only received two terabytes of data.

In an X post, Stefanik ripped the committee, of which former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) was a member.

“As I said from day one, Nancy Pelosi’s sham January 6th Committee was illegitimate and unconstitutional. It should come as a surprise to no one that Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney’s fake committee illegally deleted records of their sham investigation and obstructed justice,” Stefanik wrote in a post to X Tuesday. “The American people deserve full transparency.”

Cheney responded and linked to a statement that Stefanik made on the day of the Capitol riot.

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“This is what ⁦⁦@EliseStefanik said, in a rare moment of honesty, about the January 6 attack on our Capitol,” Cheney wrote. “One day she will have to explain how and why she morphed into a total crackpot. History, and our children, deserve to know.”

In her previous statement, Stefanik referred to the riots as “a truly tragic day for America.”

Stefanik, a steadfast advocate of former President Donald Trump and a potential vice presidential candidate for the leading GOP contender, succeeded Cheney as conference chairwoman following Cheney’s removal from the position due to her vote to impeach Trump, claiming he provoked the riots when, in fact, he implored supporters attending his speech that day to demonstrate “peacefully” at the Capitol.

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