In the fog of war, we often forget the specific events and the timeline that led up to January 6th. Soon after Trump lost the election, he replaced Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, perhaps the only cabinet secretary in history fired after an election by a lameduck president, with Christopher Miller, who served as Acting Secretary of Defense from Mid-November until January 20th. Surprisingly, Miller has not been shy in placing the blame for January 6th right back on Trump. During a March 11th interview with Vice News (by way of Rawstory), Miller noted a portion of Trump’s speech and then followed it with his own question.
Miller: “Would anybody have marched on the Capitol, and tried to overrun the Capitol, without the president’s speech? I think it’s pretty much definitive that wouldn’t have happened.
Some might say that Miller has every reason to shift the blame from himself and to Trump. Fair enough. But there are ways to do it with less assertiveness, less anger, and less danger to himself. The danger inherent in crossing Trump, however one does it, is something that some of us often don’t appreciate quite enough. These people who speak out against Trump take real risks and maybe it’s time to appreciating them a bit more without regard to why they were in the Trump administration in the first place.
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Regardless, Miller will testify to Congress on the events of January 6th this coming Wednesday and – given his previous comments – there is every reason to believe that Miller is going to corner right back around to Trump. According to Axios:
Former President Trump’s acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller has been called to testify this Wednesday on “unanswered questions” about the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee said Monday.
Why it matters: Miller, who Trump appointed to lead the Pentagon after firing Mark Esper following the 2020 election, has said he believes Trump incited the mob on Jan. 6 with his speech before the deadly riot.
There are precious few people who worked within the Trump administration that have come out and said, unequivocally, that they believe that Trump incited the riot. This fact alone makes it worth following Miller’s testimony. Miller knew the military people involved. He knew the communications to the Pentagon both before the attempted coup and after, and knows where things went awry. He might also know some things about phone calls from the White House to various military officials prior to the incident.
We suspect that Miller is the perfect guy to explain to Congress why a January 6th “Truth Commission” is necessary. It has never been more necessary now that the Republicans are purging their ranks of any dissent.