Official says Secret Service agents feared for Mike Pence’s life and theirs

For 13 minutes on January 6, 2021, as smoke billowed the air and Vice President Mike Pence hid from rioters in his office near the Senate chamber, his Secret Service detail — in increasingly frenzied radio messages — cleared the path for Pence. Escape from the Capitol.

On Thursday, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack released harrowing video and audio that showed how dangerously Pence and his security detail were endangered, detailing how President Donald Trump’s angry protesters turned their anger around. He blamed the 2020 election for failing to reverse the results.

“We’ve got to move now,” one agent said, according to portions of the radio traffic the group played. “If we lose more time, we may lose the ability to do so.”

Benz’s Secret Service profile fills the smoke of unknown origin a The Capitol’s sidewalks and protesters advanced toward outnumbered police. “Tighten that door,” said one agent.

A White House security official monitoring the traffic told the group that agents were “starting to fear for their lives.”

“There were calls to say goodbye to family members and more,” the security official said In the recorded testimony. “For whatever reason on the ground, VP Detail thought it was going to get really ugly.”

Thursday night Jan. 6 Read our live coverage and analysis of the trial

Among the most notable revelations from Thursday’s hearing were Pence’s communications with Secret Service agents. The panel included snippets of radio traffic, a series of messages exchanged by security officials monitoring traffic from the White House, and testimony from one of those officials.

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On July 21, the House Committee on Jan. 6, 2021, Jan. 6, 2021, outlined a detailed account of President Trump’s nonchalant inaction during the riots. (Video: Adriana Euro/The Washington Post, Photo: Tom Brenner/The Washington Post)

Although the group did not share which office the anonymous witness worked in, a small group of individuals would have had access to such radio traffic. Secret Service agents at the Emergency Operations Center monitor those communications. But staffers in the White House situation room may be tuned into the radio traffic because the Capitol is under attack and their job is to monitor threats to national security.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), who co-chaired Thursday’s hearing, said the official’s name was being withheld because of concerns that her testimony could lead to retaliation.

The witness said he could tell the danger Pence and Secret Service agents were in because some agents were screaming and yelling, and some were sending “very personal” messages saying colleagues had to say goodbye to their families.

“We came so close that the service had to resort to risky options, or worse,” the official said. “At the time, I didn’t know. VP compromise? Detail? I don’t know. … If they were yelling ‘say goodbye to the family,’ the floor had to know that this was going ‘to another level very quickly.’

“Ground” means the main office space of the National Security Council.

Pence is seeking to distance himself from Trump as he considers the 2024 presidential election

Indeed, within a minute of Pence rushing to his hideout 100 feet from the Senate floor, rioters — some of whom had earlier chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” – Breached the second floor of the Capitol, The spit comes within range The Vice President was accompanied by a small group of aides and family members.

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Later, agents escorted Pence, his wife and daughter and top advisers to a garage in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center. Pence’s group came within 40 feet of the rioters As they run through the underground complex, the group finds out.

The team showed that Trump was watching television footage of the riot in the West Wing dining room and was well aware of the mob’s mood and actions.

But in a tweet at 2:24 p.m., the president further attacked his vice president, writing that “Mike Pence doesn’t have the guts to do what he needs to do.”

“America demands the truth!” Trump concluded.

Former White House communications aide Sarah Matthews, who testified before the committee Thursday night, described how at countless rallies, Trump’s supporters hung on his every word.

The 2:24 p.m. news, she said, “was like pouring gasoline on a fire.”

He testified that the tweet prompted him to resign. That prompted Matthew Pottinger, Trump’s deputy national security adviser, to quit his job, he told the panel Thursday night.

“I don’t want to be associated with events unfolding in the Capitol,” Pottinger said.

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During the hearing, committee members testified about Pence’s efforts to quell the riot from his safe haven until the afternoon of January 6.

“He was very animated and gave very clear, very direct, unambiguous orders,” said Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a taped statement.

Millie recalled Pence’s orders: “Get the army down here. Available [National] Police here. Put this situation down.

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