Congressional Members to Milley: ‘Honor Your Word’ - Stop Dodging Questions on “Peril” Book Claims

Calling on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to honor his word, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) reminded him to stop dodging questions about allegations in Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book “Peril”, that he, in violation of the law, usurped President Donald Trump’s power, as commander in chief ,after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

In a statement on the Senate and House floor, Thursday, Grassley and Banks both spoke reminding Milley, that he told members of Congress he would review the allegations in the book and get back to them to say if they are true. He has still not said if they are true, despite repeated requests

Grassley claimed-

“Milley allegedly placed military hands, his hands, on controls that belonged exclusively to the president. According to Peril, [he] summoned senior operation officers in the military command center to his office,” adding, “He had them take ‘an oath’ not to ‘act’ on the president’s orders without checking with him first,”

- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

He continued:  

“These brazen words and actions, if accurate, strike at the heart of our democracy — civilian control of the military. They turn this guiding rule upside down and show utter contempt for the commander-in-chief coming from the nation’s top general. They are dangerous and contrary to military code 10 US Code 888.”

- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

In a letter, stating that his actions were on the “up and up”, Milley promised to read the book and report back to Congress. Grassley joined Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in a letter pushing for a straight answer. So far, Grassley said-

“Nine months later, he’s still dodging the question with the same lame excuse,”

- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)     

When nothing came, Grassley began sending handwritten notes to Milley, who ultimately ignored his questions in a ten-page letter to Grassley, that the Senator called “Pentagon baloney”. Grassley stated-

“After my third note, Gen. Milley responded with the same old smoke and mirrors routine: ‘I have never read the books.’ Years of oversight have taught me this lesson. Evasive answers usually offer revealing clues about the truth,” then he added-

“I think Gen. Milley knows better. He knows the score. If those books and all attendant press coverage of those books had contained gross misrepresentations, we would have heard about it a long time ago. He would have been hammered by the authors and corrected the record. However, to date, not a peep from the general. His silence speaks volumes. Something doesn’t smell just right. As a Pentagon watchdog, when I get a whiff of wrongdoing, I sink in my teeth and don’t let go.”

- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Upping the ante on April the 11th, with 12 pointed questions, Grassley and Congressman Jim Banks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, gave Gen. Milley a second bite at the apple to clear the air. After two and a half months later, there has still been no response. Grassley stated-

“Gen. Milley, you said you were going to answer for Sen. Blackburn’s question. Honor your word and so the questions come clean with the American people. We are all ears.”

- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

And in his statement on the house floor Banks said-

“Our Constitution is clear: the president is the commander-in-chief. Sidestepping the president and violating the chain of command is a grave crime.”…and

“According to Bob Woodward’s book “Peril”, Gen. Mark Milley, directed senior military officers NOT to follow the president’s orders, unless Gen. Milley approved them first. When I asked Gen. Milley about Peril at an Armed Services hearing, he claimed he hadn’t READ it. Convenient. So, Sen. Chuck Grassley and I sent a letter to Gen. Milley, asking him to verify or refute the books’ claims.” …he continued-

“He hasn’t responded. I am calling on Gen. Milley to set the record straight. Gen. Milley is accused of secretly SEIZING the president’s military powers. That is the most serious crime. If he is innocent, he has a duty to say so.”

-Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)

Worried that Trump could “go rogue,” according to “Peril”, Milley called a secret meeting on January 8 with senior military leaders. Instructing senior military officials, in charge of the National Military Command Center, during that meeting, Milley charged them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved. According to “Peril”, Milley purportedly said-

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,”

Woodward and Costa wrote of this meeting that “Milley considered it an oath.”

Additionally, the book apparently, revealed that Milley had two back-channel phone calls with China’s top general. According to “Peril” these calls were to reassure Gen. Li that the U.S. would not attack, even promising to give him a heads-up if it did. According to the Washington Post, four days before the 2020 presidential election, Milley, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the U.S. would not strike. In the book, Milley was purported to have said-

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley allegedly said. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.” Adding  “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,”

- Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

According to the book, in his second call on January 8, 2021, Milley promised Li,

“We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

- Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Also, according to the book, Milley did not tell Trump about the call. Further, it alleges that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called him, pressing him to secure the country’s nuclear weapons, and referred to Trump as “crazy,” Milley was  supposedly, to have replied to Pelosi - “I agree with you on everything.”

After that call with Pelosi, claimed, Milley “decided he had to act”, telling the military service chiefs and then-CIA director to watch everything “all the time.” Further, they wrote,

“Milley was overseeing the mobilization of America’s national security state without the knowledge of the American people or the rest of the world.”

-From the book “Peril” by Woodward and Costa

“Some might contend that Milley had overstepped his authority and taken extraordinary power for himself,” they wrote but said the chairman believed his actions were “a good faith precaution to ensure there was no historic rupture in the international order, no accidental war with China or others, and no use of nuclear weapons,” as Milley “felt no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump.”

-From the book “Peril” by Woodward and Costa

Discovering that Trump had signed a military order, to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by January 15, 2021, Milley, also allegedly considered it an “end run”, around the president’s military advisers. If this is really true – Milley had gone rogue himself. As the legislators have said – America is waiting for answers.

That Trump had this uniformed detractor, who, if what is alleged in the book is true – is guilty of usurping the military powers of the office of President of the United States. Further, that he reportedly took a call, from her deviousness, Pelosi – one can understand what TRUMP faced in office. Trump deserved better and America needs some answers out of Milley. There were too many subversive people in his administration. Trump should have cleaned house thoroughly. If he does run in 2024, and should he win – he needs to purge his administration of people like Milley.

“It's hard to tell who has your back, from who has it long enough just to stab you in it....”

-Nicole Richie
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