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Col. Earl G Matthews

The Generals Lied: Col. Earl G. Matthews of D.C. National Guard sets the record straight on 6 Jan

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Former DC Guardsman, Col. Earl Matthews, In a 36-page memo, claims the Inspector General lied in an “error-riddled report” to Congress that protects a top Army official who argued against sending the National Guard to the Capitol on Jan. 6, Politico reported based on the report it accessed. Matthews has held high-level National Guard, National Security Council and Pentagon roles. (see full bio below)

Colonel Earl G. Matthews

He blasted Gen. Charles Flynn, deputy chief of staff for operations on Jan. 6, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, the director of Army staff — as “absolute and unmitigated liars.”

In their capacities, the General’s duty was to anticipate and prepare for the events, but rather

“Every leader in the D.C. Guard wanted to respond and knew they could respond to the riot at the seat of government” before they were given clearance to do so on Jan. 6, Matthews wrote. D.C. guard officials “set [sic] stunned watching in the Armory” during the first hours of the attack on Congress during its certification of the 2020 election results.

To cover their tails as well as other officials, Matthews writes: the “Army has created its own closely held revisionist document about the Capitol riot that’s “worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist.”

“The purpose of this memorandum is to outline and detail the myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis contained in a recent publicly released Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) report of its investigation into the Department of Defense’s actions leading up to and in response to the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol which occurred on 6 January 2021. This memorandum will also detail a series of false and/or misleading statements or documents deliberately made or submitted to the DoDIG and/or to the House Oversight and Reform Committee by senior officers of the United States Army1. This memorandum will conclusively show that at least two general officers of the Army engaged in repeated violations of

“Although written in the third person, the recollections expressed are those of Major General (Retired) William J. Walker, U.S. Army, who served as Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard on the date in question, and Colonel Earl G. Matthews, U.S. Army, who then served as his Staff Judge Advocate. This memorandum was drafted primarily by Colonel Matthews with the assistance of current and former D.C. National Guard officers who were continuously with MG Walker during the afternoon and evening of 6 January 2021, or who otherwise supported our response to the attack on the Capitol. This memorandum is drawn from the contemporaneous notes and emails of these soldiers and airmen and from their individual and collective memories.

“Inspector General investigations are usually and appropriately accorded great deference because they are normally unbiased, independent, contain careful analysis of facts and circumstances, and because they make determinations as to the credibility, veracity and biases of particular witnesses, based on the preponderance of the evidence. Unfortunately, the DoDIG report on its investigation into DoD actions leading up to and during the 6 January attack was marked by few of these characteristics.

“The DoDIG report relied heavily on close associates of LTG Walter Piatt and other Army Staff principals and the DoDIG failed to interview numerous District of Columbia National Guard personnel with highly relevant information. The DoDIG Report eventually adopted a narrative formed and developed by LTG Piatt, and his close associates, and is fundamentally flawed as a result.

“The DoDIG report is replete with factual inaccuracies, discrepancies and faulty analysis. It relies on demonstrably false testimony or statements. The focus of this memorandum is on the discrepancies and falsehoods that DoDIG relied on to produce its report. The danger is that if this report, with its glaring errors and wholesale adoption of the Army company line, is accorded the deference typically afforded inspector general investigations, the report will become part of the historical record and a false narrative will have been as adopted fact. Discerning what happened on 6 January is too important to get wrong. If we do not fully comprehend and analyze what occurred on 6 January, the danger is that history will repeat itself. Our collective goal as a government and an American people should be to ensure that what occurred on 6 January does not happen again.

MG Walker’s view is that words matter, accuracy matters and precision matters. All too often the DoDIG Report lacked accuracy and precision.

“A plausible argument can be made that the imprecision and inaccuracy begins with the title of the DoDIG report itself. The report is titled “ Review of the DoD’s Role, Responsibilities, and Actions to Prepare For the Protest and Its Aftermath at the U.S. Capitol Campus on January 6, 2021.”4 However, what occurred at the Capitol on 6 January was no mere “protest,” it was a riot and an assault on our democracy which occurred at the very seat of government. To not call it what it was is to minimize the importance and gravity of what occurred.

The 34 page report gives blow by blow details and concludes:


“Given the glaring deficiencies with respect to the DoD IG investigation, and given that his name was unfairly besmirched, MG Walker requests an independent review of the investigative findings of the DoDIG report and most importantly, the Army Report that was created at LTG Piatt’s direction should be publicly released, independently reviewed and substantiated. The timeline the Army produced should be carefully scrubbed for accuracy. Evidence of the actually planning activities of the Army Staff, and especially of the G3/5/7/ under BG LaNeve and LTG Flynn should be reviewed. What planning and coordination did these individuals actually conduct? How did this planning enable DCNG to support the U.S. Capitol Police on 6 June after the Capitol had been breached? What evidence is there of the planning and support the Army Staff provided to DCNG after the Capitol’s breach and before DCNG deployed to the Capitol after 5PM on January 6, 2021.

Politico reported that Army spokesperson Mike Brady said in a statement that the service’s “actions on January 6th have been well-documented and reported on, and Gen. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Piatt have been open, honest and thorough in their sworn testimony with Congress and DOD investigators.” 

“As the Inspector General concluded, actions taken ‘were appropriate, supported by requirements, consistent with the DOD’s roles and responsibilities for DSCA, and compliant with laws, regulations, and other applicable guidance,” Brady added. “We stand by all testimony and facts provided to date, and vigorously reject any allegations to the contrary. However, with the January 6th Commission’s investigation still ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.” Read the full Report.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Charles A. Flynn, Deputy Chief of Staff G3/5/7, poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., July 16, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Monica King)

Another official account of the events stated:


7 January 2021

SUBJECT: Civil Unrest on 6 January 2021 timeline of events for National Guard Activation

1. The following is a timeline of events that occurred on 6 January 2021. This timeline was transcribed from numerous calls, video calls, and audio and visual observations by 1LT Timothy E Nick. Due to the situation being fluid, the timeline was transcribed effectively as possible.

2. Below is the timeline:

2:13 P.M. – Chief of Capitol Police, Steven A. Sund, (Sund) contacted Commanding General William J Walker (CG Walker) by phone requesting 200 D.C. National Guard (Quick Reaction Force (QRF)) members to support Capitol Police. CG Walker advised QRF could deploy to assist.

2:14 P.M. – CG Walker told to standby from the Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy (McCarthy).

2:15 P.M. – Reports from media outlets that the Capitol has been breached and police overrun from outer perimeter.

2:19 P.M. – CG Walker sent email to McCarthy advising Sund’s request for assistance.

2:20 P.M. – CG Walker being advised by the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), Dr. Chris Rodriguez, (Dr. Rodriguez) that windows are being broken out from the Capitol.

2:21 P.M. – CG Walker sent an email to McCarthy updating the situation at the Capitol.

2:24 P.M. – Metropolitan Police Department District of Columbia (MPDC) Civil Disturbance Units deploy to the Capitol to assist Capitol Police.

MPDC Chief of Police, Robert J. Contee III (Contee), Dr. Rodriguez, and Sund request to speak to McCarthy through CG Walker.

  1. 2:31 P.M. – Parties called bridge number to speak with McCarthy but General Flynn and Col. Lubose were on the call. Those on the call were: Contee, Sund, CG Walker, United States Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief of Police, Thomas J. Sullivan (Sullivan)
  2. 2: 35 P.M. – General Flynn, and Gen Pyatt, and office of Deputy Mayor District of Columbia (D.C.) join call.
  3. 2:36 P.M. – Sund requests National Guard support again by verbal request.
  4. 2:37 P.M. – Gen Flynn and Gen Pyatt recommended for DC Guard to standby and start drafting a plan for courses of action (COA). Recommended plan that the DC Guard can take over more points and help relieve Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) to go to the Capitol to assist Capitol Police.

m. 2:39 P.M. – Sund advised physical force used on LEOs by protesters.

2:40 P.M. – Sund is requesting National Guard assistance again by verbal request.

2:41 P.M. – Gen Flynn advised D.C. National Guard to standby until the request has been routed to the McCarthy and Acting Secretary of Defense, Mr. Christopher C. Miller (Miller).

2:42 P.M. – Contee advised over the phone that it sounded like the Department of Defense (DoD) was denying the request to assist Sund’s request for assistance.

2:43 P.M. – Gen Flynn advised that National Guard did not deny request just standby for an action plan and approval.

2:44 P.M. – Sund reporting shots fired inside the Capitol but not confirmed.

2:47 P.M. – Office of the Deputy Mayor advised the Mayor of DC requested assistance from the Virginia National Guard and Maryland National Guard.

2:50 P.M. – The Mayor of DC issued a city wide curfew that went into effect at 6 P.M. until 6 A.M. the next day.

2:51 P.M. – Sund advised again that shots were fired but no confirmation.

2:52 P.M. – Sullivan advised he was dispatching Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers to the Capitol to assist.

w.2:53 P.M. – Gen Flynn advised to start coordinating a response.

  1. 3:05 P.M. – CG Walker joined a joint call with Gen Flynn, Gen Pyatt, Chief,G33 OD Director via VCT.
  2. 3:10 P.M. – CG Walker advised he authorized D.C. National Guard members were manning traffic control points (TCP) that didn’t feel safe due to MPDC being pulled to assist the Capitol to group together for safety and leave certain points.
  3. 3:11 P.M. – Miller directed CG Walker to mobilize and encamp the DC National Guard.

aa. 3:12 P.M. – Continuity of Operations plan in place for members of Congress.

bb. 3:13 P.M. – Congress being evacuated and going to Fort McNair due to safety concerns but some members of Congress still barricaded in the House Chamber

cc. 3:18 P.M. – Gen Flynn advised to make a plan to start sending Guard units over to assist to but not to the Capitol grounds.

dd. 3:20 P.M. – CG Walker advised that the Mayor of DC reached out to the Governors of Maryland and Virginia

ee. 3:22 P.M. – DoD has release authority for this event.

gg. 3:27 P.M. – CG Walker requested QRF be recalled to the D.C. Armory for

3:25 P.M – Department of Homeland Security to send a liaison officer to Operations Center.

faster deployment.

hh. 3:28 P.M. – CG Walker requested to use QRF to support Capitol Police again.

ii. 3:29 P.M. – Over 100 Congress and staff have been relocated to Roselle Hall at Ft. McNair

3:31 P.M. – REDCON1 recommended by Gen Flynn.

kk. 3:34 P.M. – CG Walker was advised by Chief that the Miller told DC Guard to standby on deployment.

ll. 3:35 P.M. – NOC established
mm. 3:39 P.M. – McCarthy heading to Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)

Washington Field Office (WFO).

nn. 3:40 P.M. – Chief advised Capitol cleared by Federal LEOs.

oo. 3:42 P.M. – North Command Title 10 members not to be used.

pp. 3:46 P.M. – Advised Congress going to Ft. McNier for COOP plan.

qq. 3: 50 P.M. – McCarthy arrived at FBI WFO.

rr. 3:52 P.M. – CG Walker advised 650 VANG under State Active Duty (SAD) heading to Capitol.

ss. 3:55 P.M. – All Federal LEOs are recalled to their agencies. tt. 3:56 P.M. – DoD released statement.
uu. 3:57 P.M. – McCarthy heading to MPDC Headquarters.

vv. 4:20 P.M. – Gen Pryatt advising CG Walker to plan and prepare to transition from TCPs and be placed around other federal building and monuments. Also, to create an outer perimeter around other federal places.

ww. 4:23 P.M. – Inspector General Smith advised to start getting written orders prepared.

xx. 4:26 P.M. – G3 OD Director – advised that Maryland and Virginia National Guard on standby and getting spun up, also confirmed 6 people injured including one LEO.

yy. 4:29 P.M. – Gen Fylnn advised to possibly set up an outer cordon at the Capitol. CG Walker asked to collapse TCPs and reiterated that 150 D.C. National Guardsmen were at the Armory ready to support the Capitol.

  1. 4:32 P.M. – Gen Pyatt advised about WARNO order.
  2. 4:37 P.M. – Advised possible to send 150 Guardsmen to D ST and 1st St to

establish outer perimeter.

bbb. 4:38 P.M. – McCarthy and Mayor of D.C., Muriel Bowser (Bowser), planning to conduct a press conference.

ccc. 4:39 P.M. – Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northham (Northham), sending 200 State Troopers to assist.

ddd. 4:42 P.M. – Police left to Capitol and D.C. National Guardsmen collapsed three TCPs due to safety.

eee. 4:46 P.M. – CG Walker checking if Metro will close.

fff. 4:47 P .M – Press Conference

ggg. 4:52 P.M. – McCarthy advised D.C. National Guard was mobilized at 3 P.M.

hhh. 5:09 P.M. – Orders received to deploy QRF and CG Walker heads to Capitol Police to meet with Sund.

3. BLUF:

  1. Based on the timeframe from the initial call from Sund for assistance and thefinal approval to receive approval from McCarthy and Miller was two hours and fifty-six minutes (2 hours and 56 minutes).
  2. Sund requested assistance at least three times verbally, if not more for National Guard support once Capitol Police lost control of the situation.
  3. CG Walker requested to deploy QRF at least three times, if not more before getting approval at 5:09 P.M. All of the times CG Walker requested until 5:09 P.M., He was advised to standby until further ordered.
  4. Based on audio and visual observations, senior leaders at the Pentagon were hesitate to deploy National Guardsmen to the Capitol due to “optics” of how that would look. Senior leaders expressed their desire for LEOs to clear out the Capitol and for LEOs to do law enforcement functional duties. Eventually after two hours, National Guardsmen were deployed to the Capitol guards.
  5. Originally, Maryland National Guard and Virginia National Guard were advising about send National Guardsmen on SAD orders to assist but that did not happen and instead arrived on 7 January 2021 under Title 32, Section 502 (f).


1LT,SC,DCARNG Commanding


Colonel Earl G. Matthews

Staff Judge Advocate

Colonel Earl G. Matthews serves in the Army Reserves and served as the Staff Judge Advocate, Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia National Guard. 

He began his military career in March 2000 upon receiving a direct commission into the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Army Reserve.  Lt.Col. Matthews’ previous assignments include, Chief Training Support Branch, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, VA (2017-2018); Staff Judge Advocate, Multi-Agency Augmentation Command, D.C. Army National Guard (2016-2017); Student, U.S. Army War College (2015-2016); Special Counsel and Liaison to the Joint Staff, Periodic Review Secretariat (2014-2015); Staff Judge Advocate, Special Operations Command Forward-East Africa, Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti (2013-2014); Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, (2011-2013); Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, Kandahar, Afghanistan (2010);

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Col. Matthews graduated with a Bachelor of Art, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Villanova University in May 1995, earned a J.D. from the Harvard Law School in June 1998, an Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in August 2005, an LL.M. in National Security Law from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2013 and an Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2016.

Col. Matthews’ personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and a whole list of other awards. He has served on teams that have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the Army Superior Unit Award. 

In his civilian capacity, Col Matthews is a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy on the National Security Council Staff.  He previously served as Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Department of the Army, as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and as an Assistant General Counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency, among other positions.  

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