Congresswoman’s Panic Buttons Were Removed From Her Office Before Riot, Says Chief Of Staff
The panic buttons in a congresswoman’s office were reportedly torn out of her office before the riots at the US Capitol last week, her chief of staff has revealed.
Ayanna Pressley, a US Democratic Representative for Massachusetts, was among the members of Congress barricaded inside the US Capitol on January 6 as violent rioters stormed the building.
As Donald Trump’s supporters entered the building and clashes between law enforcement and the mob ensued, Pressley’s chief of staff, Sarah Groh, said she pulled out gas masks and rushed to press panic buttons in her office.
‘Every panic button in my office had been torn out – the whole unit,’ she said. She told The Boston Globe she has no idea why; she has used them before and has not switched offices since.
Pressley has faced multiple death threats over the years, therefore she is well prepared for safety drills and threat scenarios, Groh told the publication.
In 2019, Bernie Thompson, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked Capitol Police to heighten the security surrounding Pressley after Trump wrote a series of racist tweets attacking her and other Democratic Congresswomen.
He told the ‘squad’ to ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came’.
Pressley and her husband had planned to wait at home until the afternoon of January 6 because she suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that puts her in the high-risk category for coronavirus.
The couple came to the Capitol early after law enforcement officials warned that crowds may get too thick to ensure a safe escort.
‘I was deeply concerned; it felt like the heat was being turned up in terms of the rhetoric and Trump’s aims to incite violence,’ Groh said of going to the Capitol.
Pressley is among the lawmakers who have since called for Trump to be impeached for inciting his supporters to march on the Capitol at a rally earlier that day.
Later today, January 13, the House will vote on whether to impeach the president. In the article for his removal, lawmakers cited Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that he won the 2020 election, a recent leaked phone call in which he urged Georgia’s top election official to ‘find’ enough votes to swing the state in his favour, and the speech he gave prior to the riots on January 6.
Ahead of the vote, Vice President Mike Pence announced in a letter earlier today that he would not invoke the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office immediately.
‘With just eight days left in the president’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution,’ Pence wrote.
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