During the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s staffers barricaded the door with furniture protecting Rep. Pressley, her husband and Sarah Groh, Rep. Pressley’s Chief of Staff. In conversation with the Boston Globe, Groh said that all the panic buttons in the office “had been torn out — the whole unit,” even though Rep. Pressley had used them before in that same office. After noticing the safety hazard, they were escorted to several different secure locations as they watched for rioters. There is no explanation as to why.
Groh also said that they could feel tensions escalating as President Trump told protesters to “walk down to the Capitol” roughly an hour before the attack. During an interview on MSNBC’s “The Reid Out,” U.S. Rep Ayanna Pressley spoke about the moments following, saying that the feeling of insecurity was not uncommon for her.
“The experiences of Wednesday were harrowing and unfortunately very familiar in the deepest and most ancestral way,” Rep. Pressley said to “The Reid Out” host, Joy Reid. “That includes…all Black Americans, all Black members, and certainly for our United States Capitol Police officers, who did have racial epithets thrown at them, who are doing everything that they could, putting their lives on the line to protect us.”
As a member of the informal group of Democratic Congressional representatives dubbed “The Squad,” Pressley has been subjected to racially charged rhetoric for her progressive ideology, leading her to feel unsafe at times. Rep. Pressley says “any sense of safety and security” has been nearly obsolete for the two years she has served under the Trump administration.
Prior to the insurrection, Rep. Pressley has said she was used to death threats and routine safety drills, although she was concerned about the growing number of people congregating due to her being immunocompromised.
Following the attack, Rep. Pressley other Democrats have called for the 25th amendment to be invoked by Vice President Mike Pence after passing a resolution as a formal request. Although many lawmakers and citizens agree with another impeachment, Pence said in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he does not “believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.”
On January 13, the House of Democrats will vote on whether or not to impeach Trump.