According to testimony made public by the committee on January 6, Gen. Mark Milley claimed there had been discussions about taking action against retired military soldiers who had written negative op-eds against former president Donald Trump.
After being selected by Trump, Milley has been the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president’s top military advisor, since 2019. His testimony, which was given on November 17, 2021, was one of many documents the House committee looking into the Capitol riots released on Sunday.
Democratic Representative Elaine Luria questioned Milley about whether he had thought about speaking with retired general Michael Flynn, who served as Trump’s national security adviser and then pushed for a coup in the US after Trump left office.
When asked about his concerns about the militarization of the military, Milley said that the topic had come up throughout the Trump administration because of op-eds written by retired military personnel that were “quite critical of then President Trump.”
“And we had debates about things like having him return to active duty, having him court-martialed, and having him walk the plank, etc. I recommended them against doing so because, in my opinion, it would further polarize society “Milley said, adding that he would also suggest using caution when speaking with Flynn.
Several former military commanders published critical op-eds of Trump when he was in office, however, Milley did not indicate which of them were under consideration for court-martialing. Some were released in 2020 in response to how Trump handled the violence that broke out after George Floyd was killed, including his trip from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church following the use of force to stop peaceful protests.