Hogan: Federal approval to send National Guard during Capitol attack delayed

Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday said that he tried to send troops from the Maryland National Guard to restore peace at the U.S. Capitol during the attack by supporters of President Donald Trump, but was “repeatedly denied approval to do so” for about an hour and a half.

The Republican governor also called for Trump to resign or be removed from office for his role in encouraging “an attack on the rule of law.”

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Hogan said he heard of the attack while on a conference call with the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. and switched into an emergency security meeting with the leaders of the Maryland National Guard, state police and other authorities.

He told Maryland State Police Superintendent Jerry Jones to mobilize 200 state troopers, and told National Guard Maj. Gen. Tim Gowen to get the Guard ready.

Hogan said he then got a call from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, who said that he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were in an undisclosed location, that the Capitol Police were overwhelmed and there was “no federal law enforcement presence.” Hogan said they were “pleading with me” for a response, and he told them help was on the way.

The governor said he told the Congressional leaders he was “ready, willing and able” to send the National Guard to the Capitol. But because D.C. is not allowed to call up the Guard themselves, he needed approval from the Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller to do so.

“We were repeatedly denied approval to do so,” Hogan said. “We had a little back-and-forth trying to get that authorization.”

About an hour and a half later, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy called Hogan — who said he didn’t recognize the number on his phone but answered anyway — and gave them the authority.

The governor said he didn’t speak directly to the secretary of defense, but that Gowen was “repeatedly told by the National Guard at the national level that we did not have authorization.”

“We’re running it up the flagpole — don’t have authorization, don’t have authorization,” Hogan said.

He said the approval from McCarthy was “not the regular channels,” adding, “I’m not privy to what was going on inside the White House or inside the Pentagon.”

Hogan added that even with the delay, Maryland’s was the first National Guard deployment to arrive at the U.S. Capitol.

The governor added that about 6,000 Guard troops from five states would be in D.C. through the inauguration Jan. 20.

Resignation or removal

As a growing number of officials from both parties are talking about removing Trump from office, Hogan said he agreed.

“There’s no question that America would be better off if the president would resign or be removed from office,” Hogan said.

While some are calling for impeachment and some for removal via the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, Hogan said, “The details … how that should happen, I don’t know.”

Hogan said it was “somewhat fitting” that the event was being held at the Maryland State House. “It was right here that the peaceful transfer of power was born,” Hogan said.

Gen. George Washington surrendered power over the Army “right here — right there in the old Senate chamber,” he said, pointing. It was “unprecedented … but it secured our future as a democratic republic. …

“Over the last two months, this sacred tradition has come under attack from our own president,” Hogan said, adding that Trump had sown the seeds of Wednesday’s attack with “lies and conspiracy theories.”

“It’s clear to me that President Trump has abandoned his sacred oath,” Hogan said.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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