Jan. 6 transcripts: Milley blasts Flynn for ‘unnerving’ statements leading up to Capitol riot
Gen. Mark Milley used his interview with the Jan. 6 committee to excoriate former national security adviser Michael Flynn in the lead-up to the Capitol riot, calling his statements “unnerving” and “highly wrong.”
On Dec. 18, 2020, Flynn appeared on Newsmax, on which he said former President Donald Trump had the authority to use “military capabilities” in swing states to “rerun an election in each of those states.”
“People out there talk about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times,” he said at the time.
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Here’s Michael Flynn on Newsmax saying that Trump could order “military capabilities” to swing states and “rerun an election in each of those states.”
“People out there talk about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times.” pic.twitter.com/KNmiAGGiPF
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 18, 2020
According to the latest tranche of transcripts released by the Jan. 6 committee, Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thought Flynn’s comments were “unnerving to people, right, to the American people.”
“I think it’s incumbent upon me as a senior leader of the United States military to assure people — through media is a vehicle of doing it; through Congress is another vehicle of doing it — to assure people that the United States military was not going to be involved,” he told the committee on Nov. 17, 2021.
“It’s highly wrong, and it’s against the very ethic of this country, in my view,” he added.
He then mourned “the Michael Flynn that I knew,” who “was a high-quality intelligence officer who served his country honorably and served it well in peace and war.”
The general then said he’ll reserve any comment on the version of Flynn who appeared on Newsmax.
Milley went as far as to say: “I think those comments are absolutely fundamentally wrong, and they run at cross-purposes to the oath of office about protecting and defending the Constitution.”
Asked about his fears following Flynn’s comments, he said, “Well, I mean, worst case would be — well, frankly, you saw close to the worst case on the 6th, which is the usurpation of the Constitution of the United States, the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States, and the illegal extension of power, the failure to conduct a peaceful transfer of power, a long-standing U.S. tradition. Those sorts of things, in my mind, were all in the realm of the possible, I suppose, because of things that we saw happening.”
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Despite his opposition to Flynn’s statements, Milley did not choose to take the “giant step” of “bringing him back on active duty to court-martial him and subject him to crimes based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
He compared this to times when Trump wanted him to do similar things to retired officers who wrote critical op-eds. According to Milley, he did not do it in any of these cases to protect the military from being politicized.