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You are here News Congress 'Seconds mattered': With Capitol under siege, D.C. National Guard waited 3 hours for Pentagon approval

'Seconds mattered': With Capitol under siege, D.C. National Guard waited 3 hours for Pentagon approval

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Maj. Gen. william WalklerThe commander of the Washington, D.C. National Guard said Wednesday that Pentagon officials delayed giving him authority to dispatch 155 troops to the Capitol on Jan. 6 by more than three hours, time that could have been used to shore up defense of the building during the deadly insurrection.

Maj. Gen. William Walker told a Senate hearing that then-Capitol Police chief Steven Sund had pleaded with him by phone to send in troops shortly before 2 p.m. on Jan. 6. It wasn't until after 5 p.m. that senior Pentagon officials allowed him to send the reinforcements.

"That number would have made a difference,” Walker said. "At that point seconds mattered; minutes mattered."

Walker said the delayed response was markedly different than the Guard's deployment to social justice protests last summer when troops were dispatched immediately to downtown D.C.

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