'I was frustrated': D.C. National Guard chief on Capitol riot response

"At 1:49 p.m. I received a frantic call from then-Chief of U.S. Capitol Police, Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter at the Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters," said Maj. Gen. Walker. "The approval for Chief Sund's request would eventually come from the acting Secretary of Defense and be relayed to me by Army senior leaders at 5:08 p.m., about three hours and 19 minutes later."

Then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller was installed by former President Donald Trump days after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the November election.

Walker and other U.S. officials testified before a joint hearing conducted by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Senate Rules committees titled "Examining the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, Part II."

Video Transcript

WILLIAM WALKER: At 1:49 PM, I received a frantic call from then Chief of United States Capitol Police Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter of the United States Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters. Chief Sund, his voice cracking with emotion, indicated that there was a dire emergency at the Capitol. And he requested the immediate assistance of as many available national guardsmen that I could muster.

Immediately after that, 1:30-- 1:49 call, I alerted the US Army senior leadership of the request. The approval for Chief Sund's request would eventually come from the acting Secretary of Defense and be relayed to me by Army senior leaders at 5:08 PM, about three hours and 19 minutes later. I had already had guardsmen on buses at the armory ready to move to the Capitol.

GARY PETERS: You were on the June-- the January 6 phone call at 2:30 that we heard from our previous hearing, where the Chief of Capitol Police was making an urgent appeal for help. And we heard that the DC Metro Police Chief said it was a tepid response. He was shocked by it. What happened on that call? What was your recollection of the call? And where-- the assessment of the two individuals I had mentioned, was that your assessment, as well?

WILLIAM WALKER: Yes, sir. So that call came in. It was-- we actually helped facilitate the Deputy Mayor from the District of Columbia and Dr. Rodriguez, Chief Contee. Chief Sund later joined the conversation. And we dialed in the senior leadership of the US Army.

And at that time, Chief Contee and Chief Sund passionately pleaded for District of Columbia National Guard to get to the capital with all deliberate speed. So the Army senior leaders did not think that it looked good, it would be a good optic. They further stated that it could incite the crowd.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: Were you frustrated on that call, as well?

WILLIAM WALKER: Yes, I was, Senator Klobuchar. I was frustrated. I was just as stunned as everybody else on the call.