Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller testified Wednesday that he was concerned in the days before the Jan. 6 insurrection that sending troops to the Capitol would fan fears of a military coup or conspiracies that advisers to the president were advocating martial law.
He said doing so could cause a repeat of the deadly 1970 Kent State University shooting in which Ohio National Guard troops fired at demonstrators and killed four American civilians.
“Historically military responses to domestic protests have resulted in violations of American civil rights, and even in the case of the Kent State protests of the Vietnam War tragic deaths,” he said. “I fervently believe the military should not be utilized in such scenarios, other than as a last resort, and only when all other assets had been expended on January 6.”
Miller’s appearance comes as he confronts the criticism from members of Congress that it took three hours and 19 minutes to get approval from the Pentagon to send in the DC National Guard to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Miller, however, had refuted that timeline.