Esper and Milley to testify July 9 about military response to protests

By Tony Bertuca / June 30, 2020 at 12:20 PM

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) said today Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley are slated to testify before the committee July 9 on the military's response to recent protests.

Controversy arose earlier this month when the military was called to quell mass protests sweeping the nation, some of them involving violent clashes with police and the National Guard. The unrest was sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died in the custody of Minneapolis police officers who have been charged in connection with his death.

Meanwhile, Esper and Milley were personally criticized after accompanying President Trump to appear for a photo at a park across the street from the White House where peaceful protestors had been forcibly removed moments before. Milley subsequently apologized for his appearance.

Smith and other Democrats also criticized Esper and Milley for failing to appear before the committee sooner.