Panic buttons in Rep. Ayanna Pressley had been ‘pulled out’ before the Capitol protested, assistant says
The panic buttons in Representative Ayanna Pressley’s office had inexplicably “ pulled out ” before last week’s Capitol Riot, causing staff to panic as they attempted to barricade themselves during the protest.
Pressley’s Chief of Staff Sarah Groh shared new troubling details of the January 6 riot, revealing how security protocols designed to protect lawmakers were not working properly.
Groh said the congressman and her staff were encouraged to come to the Capitol early for the joint session to certify the election results before the crowd got too big outside.
‘I was very worried. It felt like the heat was turned up in terms of Trump’s rhetoric and goals to incite violence, ” Groh told the Boston Globe.
When protesters invaded the building, Pressley staffers barricaded the entrance to her office with furniture and water jugs.
Groh took out gas masks and scanned the room for special panic buttons, only to find they had disappeared.
“Every panic button in my office was ripped out – the whole unit,” she recalled.
During last week’s siege of the Capitol, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and her staff found themselves in her office looking for panic buttons in her office, but they were inexplicably ‘pulled out’
They couldn’t find out why they were missing. Groh said she had used them before and they hadn’t switched agents since.
Pressley’s chief of staff, Sarah Groh, said she and other staffers, along with Pressley, took shelter in her office. She said she looked for panic buttons in the office, but ‘Every panic button in my office was ripped out – the whole unit’
Due to multiple death threats over the past two years, Pressley’s office had routinely gone through security drills and threat scenarios and was familiar with the panic buttons.
The threat from the Trump-inspired crowd frightened Pressley for several reasons.
She has alopecia, an autoimmune disease that puts her in a risk category for COVID-19, which she could have contracted by hiding with other lawmakers and bypassing the crowd.
She is also part of the self-proclaimed ‘Squad’ group of liberal Democratic Congressmen, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who are heavily criticized by conservative Trump supporters.
Ultimately, Pressley and her staff were escorted to various secure locations.
Ultimately, Pressley was taken to a secret location where other members of the House hid, where she and other colleagues began writing articles of impeachment.
DailyMail.com has contacted Groh for more information.
After the chaos, Pressley brought up the feeling of fear and panic.
Wednesday’s experiences were poignant and unfortunately very familiar in the deepest and most ancestral way. And so of course I’m scared, but that fear isn’t new, ”Pressley told Joy Reid MSNBC.
A depiction of the Trump-inspired crowd storming the Capitol on Jan.6 to protest the above presidential election certification
In violent protest, Trump supporters clashed with police when lawmakers were forced to take shelter in the Capitol
A Pressley spokesman said of the missing panic buttons “the issue has been raised with the relevant authorities and is currently under investigation” and that the “duress buttons” had previously been installed in her office suite.
“Our employees had used these devices before and they are regularly tested and maintained,” said a statement The hill said.
“The safety of the Congresswoman, her family, and our staff remains our top priority, and as directed by the Congresswoman, the Sergeant at Arms oversaw the installation of new duress buttons throughout the office after the attack,” the statement added.
Team member Rep. Ocasio-Cortez fired at the Sergeant at Arms for failing to make sure all congressmen were safe.
“Even assuming this to be a totally harmless mistake, how does the responsible department remove ALL panic buttons from a highly visible member’s office and NOT notify that member or his staff?” she tweeted Wednesday.
Team member Rep. Ocasio-Cortez shot the Sergeant at Arms for failing to make sure all congressmen were safe
Massachusetts associate Deputy Jim McGovern also shared details of the havoc he saw taking place during the Capitol uprising.
He was one of the last about 50 members to leave the room of the House and by then rioters had already smashed the windows in the adjacent lobby and slammed on the doors.
“It was like watching evil,” he said.
‘It was a gruesome day. I just assumed the noise we heard outside the room was only a handful of people. I couldn’t imagine the entire crowd getting access to the Capitol, ”he added.
He said he feared violence might take place during the convention session and as a precautionary measure, “I told my staff to stay at home.”
It was revealed on Wednesday that law enforcement had been given the names of House Republicans who allegedly assisted MAGA rioters with “reconnaissance.”
Tim Ryan, chair of the subcommittee overseeing Capitol Police, said the names had been given to authorities on the day of the riot, but declined to name them.
“I’m going to wait to make sure we get verification,” Ryan said.
He said it appeared that the Republicans had toured groups around the Capitol before the riots and that there were fears that the visitors had encapsulated ‘the joint’, and said the groups involved ‘handfuls’ of people and not ‘one-on-one’. one or small. family trips.
Representative Tim Ryan said on Wednesday that law enforcement officials were given the names of some members of Congress seen by fellow Democratic Representative Mikie Sherrill showing groups around the Capitol in what she described as a “ reconnaissance tour. ”
Ryan spoke after growing claims from Democrats accusing the MAGA rioters of receiving inside help. Rep. Mikie Sherrill said she witnessed GOP members giving “tours.”
It was also revealed that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help stage the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Alexander told his Periscope followers late last month that Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama were up to something big.
Alexander helped organize one of the demonstrations that gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday – since then, his Facebook and Twitter accounts have been locked and he has been banned from social media platforms.
Pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped organize the congressional disruption certifying the January 6 election for Joe Biden
He said in a since-deleted video, “I want to let you know how we respond because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks, and then Congressman Andy Biggs.”
All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.
“ The four of us planned to put maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that we could change the hearts and minds of the Republicans who were in that body to hear our loud roars from outside. heard, ”said Alexander.
Of the three he named, Biggs’s office denied involvement, narrating the Washington Post: “At no point is Congressman Biggs aware of hearing or meeting with Mr. Alexander – let alone working with him to stage part of a planned protest.”
Gosar has not made a public statement, but his Twitter account has repeatedly tagged Alexander.
And Brooks has not addressed Alexander’s claims, but made a lengthy statement on Tuesday defending his speech at the meeting at the Ellipse before the mob revolted, to which he shouted, “ Today is the day when patriots start dropping names and ** to kick. ‘
Brooks said he was there at the request of the Trump office, saying, ‘My message is not violence, it’s words,’ adding, ‘My parents raised me to be a good, self-sufficient citizen and I have strived for it to be exactly that. ‘