Former Defense Secretary Says Jan. 6 Committee Issued "Latent Threat" To Keep Quiet

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Mar 25, 2024 - 09:40 PM

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A former Trump secretary of defense revealed that he was pressured by the House Jan. 6 committee into staying silent about claims that then-President Donald Trump authorized the deployment of National Guard troops before the breach at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller speaks during a meeting at the Pentagon, in Arlington, Va., on Nov. 13, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Speaking to the Daily Mail on March 23, former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, who was only on the job for about two months, said that members of the Democrat-led panel used “aggressive” tactics after he spoke to several media outlets about the Trump authorization. The final report from the Jan. 6 subcommittee, which was dissolved after the current Congress took over, claimed that President Trump did not authorize the deployment of the National Guard.

In 2022, Mr. Miller appeared on a Fox News segment along with former Trump national security official Kash Patel in an interview that he said “hit a nerve.”

“The two of us were on [the Fox News show] and the next day my lawyer got a call from the Jan. 6 staff director. ... I forgot exactly who it was, but basically saying, very legalistic, ‘Well, if your client has additional information he wants to share, we’d be happy to have him re-interviewed,'” Mr. Miller told the Mail.

It was more that latent threat of, ‘If you want to keep going on TV, we’re gonna drag you in here again for additional hours of hearing testimony.’ So that was the nature of that whole thing. It was the latent threat of the government continuing to intrude into my life.”

The former defense secretary added that he did not have the “resources to continue the battle” with the Jan. 6 committee and didn’t want to face any more depositions. Instead, he kept to himself and did not discuss how the panel allegedly targeted him.

I didn’t talk about it with anybody else because of the fear or the concern,” he told the outlet. “I wasn’t communicating with anybody, because I knew any interactions I had on it would result in me having to ... acknowledge that I'd been in communications with other people. And then that just sort of opens up a whole can of worms with the investigators that I just didn’t want to do.”

The former secretary said, “It was much easier just to not be involved with anybody or talk to anybody about this stuff because it was going to cause conflict and difficulties with the investigating team.”

Mr. Miller added that it was clear that former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was running the Jan. 6 panel even though she was one of only two Republicans on the committee. He said that he believed that Ms. Cheney, who lost the 2022 Wyoming Republican primary to the pro-Trump Harriet Hageman, was not happy with the “optics” of Mr. Miller’s appearing on television and going against the panel’s anti-Trump narrative.

Ms. Cheney and other members of the Jan. 6 panel will likely attempt to downplay his claims about the National Guard authorization, Mr. Miller said, adding that the committee was engaging in “political theater.”

But his recent remarks contradicted statements he made in 2022 when he told the Jan. 6 panel that President Trump did not order the 10,000 National Guard troops before Jan. 6.

I was never given any direction or order or knew of any plans of that nature,” Mr. Miller said at the time. “There was no order from the president.

“We obviously had plans for activating more folks, but that was not anything more than contingency planning. There was no official message traffic or anything of that nature.”

The Epoch Times contacted Ms. Cheney for comment on March 23 but received no response by press time.

New Report Released

The former acting secretary of defense’s claims come as House Republicans released a transcript that the Jan. 6 panel kept hidden from the public.

Anthony Ornato, who was the White House deputy chief of staff during the breach, told the committee that he overheard Mark Meadows, who was then chief of staff, on the phone with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser. According to the transcript, Mr. Meadows wanted to ensure Ms. Bowser “had everything she needed.”

Mr. Meadows “wanted to know if she [needed] any more guardsmen,” Mr. Ornato testified, according to the transcript.

“And I remember the number 10,000 coming up of, ‘The president wants to make sure that you have enough,’“ he said. ”You know, ‘He is willing to ask for 10,000.’ I remember that number. Now that you said it, it reminded me of it.”

But the committee said in its final report that it “found no evidence” supporting the idea that President Trump ordered 10,000 National Guard troops to be ready for Jan. 6.

“The former J6 Select Committee apparently withheld Mr. Ornato’s critical witness testimony from the American people because it contradicted their pre-determined narrative,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), who released the transcript, said in a statement this month.

After the report was released, Ms. Cheney wrote that people should read the committee’s report, which included the 2022 Miller interview in which he denied that President Trump ordered the troops.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.