Ayanna Pressley aide says panic buttons were ‘torn out’ of rep’s office before Capitol insurrection


Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff said Tuesday that the panic buttons in the congresswoman’s office had been “torn out” before the violent insurrection by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol last week.

Sarah Groh told The Boston Globe that the Massachusetts Democrat and staffers hunkered down in her office as the chaos unfolded and barricaded the entrance with furniture and water jugs that had piled up during the pandemic. 

Ms. Groh said that safety drills in Ms. Pressley’s office were nothing new in the past two years because of multiple death threats, but that the panic buttons that were installed had been inexplicably removed.

“We knew where to grab the gas masks from. We knew what documents to take with us. I knew how to barricade a door from the inside,” she told WCVB.

But “every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit,” she separately told The Globe.

She said she had used the panic buttons before the past and hadn’t switched offices since then. She didn’t present a theory as to why they would have been removed.

Ms. Pressley said Tuesday that she left her secure location with other members of Congress after learning that “treasonous” lawmakers “who incited the mob in the first place” were also in the room.

“The second I realized our ‘safe room’ from the violent white supremacist mob included treasonous, white supremacist, anti masker Members of Congress who incited the mob in the first place, I exited,” Ms. Pressley tweeted. “Furious that more of my colleagues by the day are testing [COVID-19] positive.”

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