General Mark Milley’s calls with China will be processed by January 6 from the commission
Top lawmakers on the House Select Committee on the Riots on Jan. 6 pledged Thursday to review actions taken by top Pentagon officials in the wake of the attack amid fallout from new reports detailing Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley’s back channel calls with his Chinese counterpart days after Trump supporters storm the Capitol.
Senior members of the January 6 panel, Representatives Penny J. Thompson, D-Miss. and Liz Cheney, D-Wyoming, say they will review the details surrounding General Milley’s actions as part of their investigation.
“The facts surrounding the steps taken at the Pentagon to protect our security before and after January 6th are an important area of focus for the Select Committee,” lawmakers said in a statement Thursday.
“Indeed, the select committee has sought records relating specifically to these matters, and we expect the Department of Defense to cooperate fully with our investigation,” they said. “Looking forward, we will carefully evaluate all facts based on first-hand testimonies, contemporary documents and other relevant materials.”
Their statement follows a glimpse earlier this week of a forthcoming book “Danger,” in which Bob Woodward and Robert Costa say General Milley made two separate calls through General Li Zucheng’s back channel, including two a few days after the riots in Capitol.
In the calls, General Milley offered his assurances that the United States would not strike China in response to General Lee’s apparent concerns about President Trump’s mental state, according to the authors.
Messrs. Woodward and Costa said that General Milley also told General Lee that he would warn him if the United States prepared an attack.
Some lawmakers have questioned the veracity of the reports, especially the latest claim.
The Pentagon confirmed that General Milley made the calls in the book, although General Milley did not confirm the details of the calls.
Late last month, the January 6 commission released a sweeping round of demands across the executive branch of documents related to the attack. The mod was included in their sweep.
General Milley’s reputation has soured among Republican lawmakers in recent months. Some on the right have described the general as “waking up” for his advocacy of diversity, inclusion, and counter-extremism measures in the military.
The general’s relationship has become even more skewed among some Republicans in the fallout from the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The phone calls reported this week further damaged the relationship. Mr Trump has called for General Milley’s arrest for treason, and several Republican lawmakers were among the chorus calling for his ouster.
Emotions are less strong in the Democratic Party. President Biden said amid an uproar about Thursday’s phone calls that he maintains “great confidence” in General Milley.
The January 6 committee, made up of seven Democrats and Republicans, held its first hearing in late July. Additional hearings have not yet been set.