After repeated denials, the Army has confirmed that the brother of disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn participated in a tense Jan. 6 phone call about how to respond to the Capitol rioters, The Washington Post reported late Wednesday.
The colossal security failure that led to a mob of angry Trump supporters being able to breach the building on Jan. 6 is currently under investigation by multiple federal agencies as lawmakers demand transparency and accountability. Five people were killed as a direct result of the insurrection, including one Capitol Police officer.
In the days after the incident, Washington, D.C., government officials and Capitol Police leadership said that, in a call with the Pentagon on the day of the attack, they had pleaded for National Guard troops to be dispatched to shore up the building’s defenses, but were initially turned down. Army officials had concerns about the optics of sending the Guard to secure the Capitol, according to unnamed officials who were on the call and spoke to The Washington Post.
One such official told the Post that officials were later worried about the potential political fallout if it became public knowledge that Michael Flynn’s brother, Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, was a part of the failed response.
The lieutenant general serves as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations and would have had a legitimate reason to be involved.
In a statement acknowledging his role in the teleconference, Charles Flynn said that he “entered the room after the call began and departed prior to the call ending,” believing that “a decision was imminent” on how to respond and he “needed to be in my office to assist in executing the decision.”
There is also no evidence that the Flynn brothers share an ideology.
Michael Flynn has become a highly polarizing figure since he was accused of lying to the FBI during an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. After losing his reelection bid, Trump issued Flynn a pardon late last year.
Flynn was heavily involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He also subscribes to the QAnon conspiracy theory — which is considered a domestic terror threat by the FBI ― which led to his permanent ban from Twitter earlier this month.