The Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a memo to the entire U.S. military on Tuesday condemning last week’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“The violent riot in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process,” the memo, signed by Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley and the rest of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs, read.
"The violent riot in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021 was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process." -- Message to the Joint Force from Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley and the rest of the Joint Chiefs. pic.twitter.com/coIh9yqEpI
— Katie Bo Williams (@KatieBoWill) January 12, 2021
Violence tore through the Capitol last week after President Donald Trump riled up thousands of his supporters in his continued false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. Five people died in the ensuing riot by Trump supporters, including a Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick, who was reportedly pepper-sprayed and died after being bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher by members of the mob.
Gen. Milley previously expressed his displeasure at the president last June after Trump ordered peaceful protestors tear-gassed by federal troops so he could have a photo-op at a nearby church. But Tuesday’s rebuke by Milley and others from the Pentagon’s top brass was a sharper condemnation of the violence Trump birthed.
“We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law,” the memo continued. “The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”
The Joint Chiefs also made clear that on Jan. 20, Joe Biden will become the next president.
“On January 20, 2021, in accordance with the Constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress, President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become the 46th Commander in Chief.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.