Almost a year after that the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building, the events of that day continue to inspire a great deal of analysis and discussion — including the fact that the National Guard didn't get to the Capitol sooner when it was under attack. Writers Ryan Goodman and Justin Hendrix, in an article published by Just Security this week, argue that the National Guard was "restrained" by the Pentagon because of fears that then-President Donald Trump would "invoke the Insurrection Act."
"One of the most vexing questions about January 6 is why the National Guard took more than three hours to arrive at the Capitol after D.C. authorities and Capitol Police called for immediate assistance," Goodman and Hendrix explain. "The Pentagon's restraint in allowing the Guard to get to the Capitol was not simply a reflection of officials' misgivings about the deployment of military force during the summer 2020 protests; nor was it simply a concern about 'optics' of having military personnel at the Capitol. Instead, evidence is mounting that the most senior defense officials did not want to send troops to the Capitol because they harbored concerns that President Donald Trump might utilize the forces' presence in an attempt to hold onto power."