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February 13, 2024

Army officer alleges reprisal for his account of Capitol riot response

On April 9, 2021, Washington Post reported an Army officer, Lt. Col. Timothy Byrne, described in a congressional statement how he was removed from his Pentagon post due to blowback from his account of the Department of Defense’s response to the January 6 Capitol riot. In this statement, Lt. Col. Byrne detailed how he was told by a senior leader in the Pentagon in February 2021 to stop speaking publicly about the DoD’s response to the attack. He alleged that this same leader acted swiftly to remove him from his position in a “disingenuous” manner. Lt. Col. Byrne argued that his removal was in direct retaliation for his statements. Lt. Col. Byrne's congressional statement also included graphic details of what he witnessed during the January 6 riot, describing “unhinged and aggressive” actions from some protestors that were not suppressed as he thought they should have been. His testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security is part of the body’s investigation into the DoD’s response to the riots, and the DoD has yet to comment on the allegations.