Members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s safety element had been so afraid for his or her lives throughout the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot that they made calls over radio to say goodbye to their relations, in line with testimony given to the House committee investigating the assault.
“The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives,” a former White House nationwide safety official mentioned in testimony to the committee that aired in a listening to on Thursday.
The official’s id was withheld for safety causes.
“There was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio,” the official added. “It was disturbing. I don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members. The VP detail thought that this was going to get very ugly.”
After rioters broke into the Capitol, Secret Service rushed Pence to a safe space simply off the Senate ground, the place he had been presiding over the certification of the 2020 electoral outcomes.
The rioters got here inside 40 ft of Pence earlier than he was evacuated. Some rioters had been chanting for Pence to be hanged, and a gallows was erected exterior the constructing.
Five folks died and greater than 140 officers had been injured within the riot. Witnesses described a struggle zone on the scene that appeared like a “medieval battleground.”
Lawmakers and their workers who hid because the violence erupted on Jan. 6 additionally feared for his or her lives.
“I think I was in a state of shock, to be honest. I was absolutely terrified,” Erica Loewe, then a staffer for Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), informed HuffPost. “Looking back at the text messages … to my family and friends, I just asked them all to pray because I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I don’t think I truly understood the gravity of what happened until afterwards, when I saw the images.”