The House Armed Services Committee has called Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to testify Monday about the military’s role in responding to protests near the White House earlier this week, Military.com reported.
As President Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden Monday evening, police and military police used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up an otherwise peaceful protest at a nearby park.
“I have serious concerns about using military forces to respond to protesters, and I remain gravely concerned about President Trump’s seemingly autocratic rule and how it affects the judgment of our military leadership,” Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said.
After the protest area was cleared, Trump, Esper, Milley and other White House officials walked through the area to pose for photos at the nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church. Milley was in uniform.
Military.com cites DOD officials who say Esper and Milley were not originally planning to take part in the photo but were “redirected” to the photo area.
“I worked with General Milley at the Pentagon,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a member of the committee. “I hope he’s thinking seriously about the moral and ethical issues surrounding his role in the coming days.”
More than 18,000 National Guard troops are activated to help respond to protests across the country, and some active-duty units are on standby.