House impeachment managers — using previously unseen security footage from the US Capitol and a map of the building — revealed how close rioters came to confronting staffers and lawmakers on January 6, underscoring the threat that insurrectionists posed to everyone there.
These clips, shown during Democrats’ eight hours of argument in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial Wednesday, revealed a series of near misses. Some of the most shocking included the moment when Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) nearly ran into attackers, and another when rioters almost found a group of eight staffers hiding in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
In one clip, Romney is seen trying to leave the Senate chamber only to inadvertently walk in the direction of the incoming rioters. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman happens to run into him and directs him to sprint the other way.
As Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) emphasized, the narrowness of such encounters matters because there were rioters present who seemed eager to do bodily harm to officials including Pelosi and then-Vice President Mike Pence.
“We know from the rioters themselves that if they had found Speaker Pelosi, they would have killed her,” she said, referring to statements that people had made about their intentions in the Capitol. Lawmakers including Romney, as well as other Republicans who refused to contest the certification of the election results, have also been the subject of significant blowback from Trump supporters, and may have been targets of violence, too.
There’s been previous reporting about how much worse the attack on the Capitol could have been given the zip ties and weapons that rioters brought with them — and these new videos were a stark illustration of just how close a call it was.
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