Ayanna Pressley's Chief Of Staff Says 'Every Panic Button' In Her Office Was Torn Out Before Capitol Riot
More details are emerging after the Capitol riot that President Donald Trump recently dubbed "the calamity at the Capitol." The public is beginning to get a fuller idea of how much planning and knowledge went into this domestic terrorist assault on the federal government.
There are newly public allegations security measures may have been sabotaged in the office of Massachusetts Democratic Representative Ayanna Pressley.
“Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit,” Sarah Groh, a staffer for Rep. Ayanna Pressle… https://t.co/tXRqEG8Bng— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts)1610518595.0
This news comes in the wake of the many other revelations and allegations from last week when a mob were filmed or photographed erecting a gallows, carrying restraints, and reportedly multiple explosive devices and napalm were found on and around the United States Capitol grounds where five people lost their lives—including a Capitol police officer.
Rioters put out the call on social media for more people to come and many of those posts and videos encouraged or glorified violence. Videos of rioters chasing, attacking and beating Capitol officers were seen.
Rioters took down the U.S. flag and held aloft Trump, White Supremacist, QAnon, White nationalist and Confederate flags and symbols. There were multiple White supremacist slogans and anti-Semitic symbols and images throughout the mob, including the now-infamous "Camp Auschwitz" shirt and "6MWE" or "six million wasn’t enough"—both references to the Holocaust.
Footage of officers opening barricades to allow rioters in, taking selfies with them and standing aside rather than intervening drew ire and raised questions. Now over a dozen officers are being investigated.
Resigned Chief of Capitol police, Steven Sund, went public with claims the National Guard was requested and Trump's Defense Department team denied the request six times before sending troops.
There were claims of members of Congress guiding groups of people associated with the Capitol riot around the building for reconnaissance the day before the attacks reported to authorities.
According to Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff Sarah Groh, the panic buttons in the Congresswoman’s office were all… https://t.co/PsHbYYi18w— Eoin Higgins (@Eoin Higgins)1610517017.0
Pressley was no stranger to death threats throughout her first term after being specifically targeted by Trump as a member of "The Squad" that also includes Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. As a result, Pressley ran regular security drills with her team.
When the mob gained access to the building January 6, staff sprang into action following the plan they had established. The team met up in Pressley's office and Chief of Staff, Sarah Groh, went to retrieve gas masks.
As Groh was doing so, others worked on barricading the door with furniture.
The next step in the procedure was to hit one of the multiple panic buttons throughout the office. Offices had several so in the event of an emergency time wouldn't be wasted activating one.
Multiple panic buttons also work as backups in case one fails or is damaged.
The team, who had run countless drills and physically touched the buttons before, suddenly could not find any.
The possible implications are horrifying Twitter.
Ayanna Pressley's panic button removed the day before. Insurrectionists given tours of the building. Knowledge of t… https://t.co/fps5V8xFIR— Jamie Ford (@Jamie Ford)1610550994.0
In order for someone to remove @AyannaPressley panic buttons, at the very minimum, these thing would need to have… https://t.co/ImVXdAP9cr— Periloux C. Peay (@Periloux C. Peay)1610565084.0
@koslen_bambi Did you see Rep Ayanna Pressley who had previously been threatened bc she's a "Squad" member had pani… https://t.co/u8uSdupigi— skidnee🆘 Many cultures, one race Human! (@skidnee🆘 Many cultures, one race Human!)1610613884.0
@AyannaPressley How are you? Did people truly remove all of the panic buttons from your office prior to the Capi… https://t.co/Wa2T1avyRL— RonaldTheOxymoronGotTweetBlocked (@RonaldTheOxymoronGotTweetBlocked)1610618951.0
@ericgarland Who disabled the panic buttons in Ayanna Pressley's office? When?— Nancy –Thank you GEORGIA! (@Nancy –Thank you GEORGIA!)1610584079.0
@Al_Solzhenitsyn @jenrauls @ShockJenna @Angry_Staffer @RepSherrill @AOC @RepPressley @FBI @FBIWFO @SecretService… https://t.co/tKlP3sxckg— Kafkasrecruit (@Kafkasrecruit)1610619722.0
Pressley and staff were eventually forced to abandon the offices and guided to saferooms by Capitol officers who, according to the team, they were uncertain could be trusted based on broadcast footage of officers appearing to side with the mob.
Those officers led her and her team to a saferoom with anti-mask, pro-Trump, Republican members of Congress who taunted and balked at those requesting masks. Staffers tried to hand out masks at multiple points throughout the events of Jan 6, but many of those aforementioned GOP members of Congress refused to wear them.
Pressley has an auto-immune disorder and is at increased risk when it comes to the pandemic. This is something her colleagues, and much of the world know as Pressley has chosen not to hide her condition.
Representative Pressley was forced to leave the safety of that room and find another place to shelter in place for health reasons.
The second I realized our "safe room" from the violent white supremacist mob included treasonous, white supremacist… https://t.co/IDhxNRwwop— Ayanna Pressley (@Ayanna Pressley)1610472860.0
Pressley's decision was initially mocked on social media, but it proved wise.
In the days since the attack, word went out the safe rooms were hotspots for virus transmission. Multiple people have tested positive since the Capitol riot.
...including Pressley's husband, Conan Harris, who was there in her office with staff the day of the attack.
Thank you for your notes of care and concern. I’m deeply frustrated my husband & staff were put in this position.… https://t.co/GzMXRd2cYD— Ayanna Pressley (@Ayanna Pressley)1610575260.0
Authorities are investigating the riot, its instigators and planners and various allegations made by members of Congress.