Joint Chiefs of Staff call Capitol riot 'sedition and insurrection,' remind troops of oath

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff branded last week's riot sedition and called on troops to defend the Constitution.
CLOSE The planned protests turned into riots after pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the U.S. Capitol. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon's senior military leadership on Tuesday branded the riot Jan. 6 at the Capitol "sedition and insurrection" and admonished troops to heed their charge to protect and defend the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

The extraordinary memo to all active duty and reserve troops left no doubt that the military's top brass considered last week's attack on the Capitol to be a criminal act and counter to military values and their oaths. Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed the memo along with seven other senior leaders.

"We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law," the chiefs wrote. "The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.

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Tom Vanden Brook
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