Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, demanded Thursday that Gen. Mark Milley finally respond to allegations that he usurped presidential power over the military while he was President Donald Trump’s principal military adviser. Bob Woodward and Robert Costa raised the allegations in their 2021 book “Peril,” and according to the lawmakers, Milley still has not confirmed nor denied them.
“According to Bob Woodward’s book ‘Peril,’ Gen. Mark Milley directed senior military officers not to follow the president’s orders unless General Milley approved them first,” Banks said in a speech on the House floor on Thursday.
Grassley said in a speech the same day that Milley’s alleged actions “strike at the heart of our democracy — civilian control of the military,” adding that, if the allegations are true, the actions would have been unlawful.
“He may have stepped out of his lane as the president’s principal military adviser and into the statutory chain of command, where law doesn’t allow him to go,” Grassley said. “By law, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has no command authority.”
In a Jan. 13 letter to Milley, Grassley and Sens. Rand Paul and Marsha Blackburn, asked about another account contained in the book, in which Milley allegedly told Chinese general Li Zuocheng that if America were going to attack China, he would “call [Li] ahead of time.”
“It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley allegedly told Li.
According to Grassley, Milley has yet to clarify whether the book’s accounts are accurate, in spite of multiple requests from Grassley and other members of Congress.
“I am calling on Gen. Milley to set the record straight,” Banks said. “Gen. Milley is accused of secretly seizing the president’s military powers. That is the most serious crime. If he is innocent, he has a duty to say so.”