May 3, 2024 – Col. Earl Matthews says Army leaders stripped Trump of authority on January 6

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Col. Earl Matthews was the Staff Judge Advocate on January 6, 2021. He came forward as a whistleblower before the subcommittee reviewing the investigation by the Select Committee on January 6. (Credit: CSpan/DailyMail)

Donald Trump’s authority as commander-in-chief was ignored by senior military leadership on January 6, 2021, claims the chief legal advisor for D.C. National Guard on that day.

Colonel Earl Matthews came forward as a whistleblower to the House subcommittee reviewing the January 6 Select Committee’s investigation.

He sat down with two weeks after the public hearing to explain what he saw happen that day.

He claims that Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, and then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, were plotting to disobey any orders handed down by Trump because they ‘unreasonably’ assumed the then-president was going to break the law and try to use the D.C. National Guard (DCNG) to stop certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

A lot has been made about the breakdown in military and administration communication when it came to the timeline of deploying DCNG to the Capitol.

But Matthews claims senior military leadership was solely focused on getting the heat off of them and putting it back onto Trump.

The Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, Matthews claims, was more than happy to lean into this narrative and blame the entire ordeal on the then-president.

But Matthews says that senior military leadership essentially stripped the president of his authority as commander-in-chief by preemptively planning to go against orders because they didn’t like the optics of uniformed soldiers at the Capitol.

‘I think a very plausible argument can be made that through no fault of his own, President Trump’s command authority over both the D.C. National Guard and the U.S. Army itself had been surreptitiously curtailed by the senior leadership of the Army on January 6, 2021,’ Matthews told

He continued: ‘Army leadership had unreasonably anticipated an ‘unlawful order’ from the President, an order that the President had no plans to issue, and were preemptively seeking to curtail his discretion to issue such an order.’ (Read more: The Daily Mail, 5/03/2024) (Archive)