Impeachment Trial Video Shows Lawmakers Fleeing for Safety

In making the case against former president Donald Trump, House impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett shared compelling, previously unaired footage and law enforcement communications from the day of the Capitol attack that showed lawmakers coming terrifyingly close to encountering the riotous mob.

As footage from social media and Capitol security cameras played, Plaskett narrated the progress of the attack, beginning when rioters breached the outer barricades around the Capitol lawn.

“During and following President Trump’s speech,” she said, “Trump supporters descended on the Capitol and became increasingly violent. What you are about to hear has not been made public before.”

She then played audio clips of Metropolitan Police radio communications from that day as the mob approached.

“Multiple Capitol injuries. Multiple Capitol injuries.”

“We need some reinforcements up here now. They’re starting to pull the gates down. They’re throwing metal poles at us.”

“Multiple law enforcement injuries.”

“We just had an explosion go on up here. I don’t know if they’re fireworks or what, but they’re starting to throw explosives, fireworks materials.”

Plaskett next narrated how the protesters breached the Capitol. “They coordinated, moving metal barricades the police were using to maintain distance,” she said. “Listen to the yelling of, ‘Pull them this way,’ as they grabbed the barriers, and attacked officers trying to hold the line.”

In another clip, Plaskett showed just how close one Republican senator, Mitt Romney, came to encountering the attackers. “In this security footage, you can see Officer Goodman running to respond to the initial breach,” Plaskett said. “Officer Goodman passes Senator Mitt Romney and directs him to turn around in order to get to safety. On the first floor, just beneath them, the mob had already started to search for the Senate chamber.”

Were it not for Goodman, who was also credited with directing the rioters away from the House chamber as lawmakers evacuated, Romney would likely have continued heading in the direction of the rioters.

Plaskett also played footage recorded by a rioter who can be heard calling out for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Where are you, Nancy?” the rioter says as he moves through the Capitol, “We’re looking for you.”

Impeachment Manager Rep. Eric Swalwell also used Capitol security footage during his portion of the trial, showing a “near-miss,” where rioters and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer almost came face-to-face.

“Leader Schumer and the members of his protective detail had a near-miss with the mob,” Swalwell said. “They came within just yards of rioters and had to turn around.”

The footage then showed Schumer walking in a Capitol hallway with his security detail. Schumer and his protectors walk out of frame, and just seconds later, they return to the view of the camera where they can be seen running in the opposite direction.

“Officers immediately shut the door and used their bodies to keep [Schumer and others] safe,” Swalwell said.

Addressing the senators, Swalwell reinforced just how close many of them were to danger. “Some of you, I understand, could hear them,” Swalwell said. “But most of the public does not know how close these rioters came to you. As you were moving through that hallway, I paced it off, you were just 58 steps from where the mob was amassing and where police were rushing to stop them.”

Leave a Reply