Senators John Cornyn and Rand Paul on Wednesday called on General Mark Milley to answer questions on Capitol Hill and face the possible consequences of a report he secretly communicated with China’s top general.
Senator Cornyn, a Texas Republican member of the Intelligence Select Committee, told the Washington Times that General Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “must explain himself to Congress.”
Mr Cornyn said he wanted to hear from General Milley directly “before passing judgment” on the general’s resignation.
According to “Peril,” a new book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, General Milley undermined the powers of then-President Donald Trump after the January 6 riot on the United States Capitol, in particular by unilaterally and secretly prohibiting Mr. Trump from ordering a military strike or the launching of nuclear weapons.
The general also contacted a Chinese military commander to reassure him that Mr. Trump would not launch an attack on China.
Kentucky Republican Senator Paul also asked the general to testify.
“This should be investigated immediately, today he should be questioned under oath, if not with a polygraph test, to find out if this happened. If it did, he should be immediately relieved of his duties and court martialed, “Mr. Paul, a member of the Foreign Relations and Homeland Security Committees, told Fox News’s Fox and Friends.” You have to find out if this is true. Maybe it is. innuendo, rumors and propaganda, but if it is true, it absolutely must be withdrawn immediately.
The report also raised Democrats’ eyebrows, though they were quick to give General Milley the benefit of the doubt in his dealings with Mr. Trump.
Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat who sits on the Armed Services Committee, said she had “real concerns” about General Milley’s conduct, but doubted he crossed the line.
“I am a strong supporter of civilian control of the army. This is what our entire system of government is based on. I don’t think at any time from the reports I’ve read he actually ordered his subordinates to betray the president’s orders, ”said Ms. Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran, in an interview. “I think what he said was to make sure that, ‘I’m in the loop. And then do your homework. I think it’s appropriate, but I have real concerns.
Others were less indulgent, including at least one of Mr. Trump’s harshest critics.
Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness who testified against Mr Trump during his first impeachment, has called on General Milley to resign if the information about him is true.
“If this is true, GEN Milley must resign. He usurped civil authority, severed the chain of command and violated the sacrosanct principle of civilian control over the military. It is an extremely dangerous precedent. You can’t just walk away from it, ”Vindman tweeted Tuesday.
MM. Woodward and Costa also wrote that General Milley, who was Mr. Turmp’s main military adviser, claimed that Mr. Trump’s behavior was erratic and that the events of January 6 amplified concerns about his state of mind. .