WASHINGTON — Shortly after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday afternoon, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy received several calls from Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser. Trump supporters were overwhelming the Capitol, overwhelming police officers, and Ms. Bowser wanted DC National Guard troops for reinforcements.
Defense officials said Pentagon officials asked for clarification, requiring a request based on capabilities rather than the number of forces. “What do you want to do with them?” An American official asked. “There was a fixed sense of urgency, but no sense of terror. We wanted to pursue these people. “
Nearly 90 minutes had elapsed in meeting those needs, when Mr. McCarthy already approved the deployment of 200 troops to traffic outposts and metro stations in the city. More time passed before the soldiers recovered the protective gear and arrived at the Capitol.
In those hours, crowds rioted through the halls and offices of Congress, in the first siege of the building by American citizens. Five people were killed, including a woman who was shot by police as she climbed through a broken doorway outside the chamber of the house and a head injury from a police officer fire extinguisher He was badly injured after being hit.
When the rioters attacked the Capitol, several federal and local agencies said that the country’s capital of police caused an immediate influx of communications, but that they were responsible for sorting through command lines and spiraling attacks beyond their control Struggled to coordinate the overwhelming response.