Secret Service Officers Feared For Their Lives During Jan. 6 Capitol Attack
In Thursday’s public hearing conducted by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, the committee presented a recorded interview with a White House security official who testified that members of then-Vice President Mike Pence‘s Secret Service detail “feared for their own lives.”
“There was a lot of yelling, a lot of personal calls over the radio. It was disturbing,” the official said. “I don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members. For whatever reason on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.”
“It sounds like we came very close to either Service having to use lethal options or worse. Like at that point I don’t know, is the VP compromised? Is the detail compromised? I don’t know … If they’re screaming and saying things like saying goodbye to the family, the floor needs to know this is going to a whole other level soon.”
For 13 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021, as Vice President Mike Pence hid from rioters in his office adjacent to the Senate chamber, his Secret Service detail scrambled — in increasingly frantic radio messages — to clear a path for Pence to flee the Capitol. https://t.co/xu7rIuJ2Ve pic.twitter.com/Bnwb5OFk13
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 22, 2022
Pence was a target of the rioters after he refused former President Donald Trump and attorney John Eastman‘s pressure to reject certain electors in swing states to overturn President Joe Biden‘s win in 2020 in favor of Trump.
Before calling on his supporters to leave the premises of the Capitol, Trump tweeted a criticism of his vice president, which Trump White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews testified on Thursday “was the last thing that was needed at that moment and that it sent the message that rioters were “justified in their anger.”
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution. giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” the tweet read.
This tweet was from 2:24 pm ET Jan 6…
The security camera footage of Pence and his family being whisked out of the Capitol by Secret Service that we saw for the first time today was from 2:26 pm ET pic.twitter.com/udk1cXDsjP
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 10, 2021