House managers yesterday revealed an onslaught of graphic video evidence that turned a room full of the nation’s most powerful lawmakers into a captive audience, forced to absorb, and in many cases, relive, the enormity of the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, rendering judgement on whether the former president is to blame for what they had witnessed.
The violent videos included insurrectionists declaring their intent to harm former vice president Mike Pence, a mob member cryptically calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s name, and footage of Senator Mitt Romney running down a hallway at officer Eugene Goodman’s instructions, seconds before rioters breached windows downstairs.
The senators watched mostly in silence as footage of the mob echoed throughout the chamber. As the videos played, some appeared to involuntarily trace the path they took away from the chamber as it became clear how close they had been to the mob. And to make a point, House managers created a graphic representation of the Capitol using red dots to represent the mob as it invaded the building.
Here’s a look at some of the chilling videos that were released during Wednesday’s impeachment trial.
Officer Goodman leads Romney away from mob
House manager Stacey Plaskett, who represents the US Virgin Islands, narrated the newly-released clips that showed officer Goodman responding to the initial breach as members of the mob entered through a shattered window on the first floor. Moments later, after the Senate was called to recess, Goodman is seen running down a second-floor hallway on the Senate side, where he encounters Romney and a staffer who had exited the Senate floor. In the clip, Goodman can be seen motioning for the two to turn around and avoid rioters. Romney follows Goodman, and runs out of the frame.
After Wednesday’s impeachment hearings, Romney thanked Goodman for his bravery and service.
Pence is evacuated down a flight of stairs
Shortly after Romney’s close encounter with the insurrectionists, Pence and his family can be seen moving down a flight of stairs in another newly-released clip. Plaskett, again narrating the scene, pointed out how Pence briefly turns around before heading down the stairs to shelter in an office. Until then, Pence, his family, and his security detail were hiding in a room near the Senate chamber. As Pence was evacuating, the video shows how insurrectionists were simultaneously spreading through the Capitol. Members of the mob came within just 100 feet of Pence and his family.
Pence was presiding over the joint session of Congress certifying President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Video and audio recordings from the siege suggest members of the mob were after Pence for his role in formalizing Biden’s win. At one point, rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!”
Staffers barricade themselves within steps of insurrectionists
As House aides to Speaker Pelosi exited the Senate floor, Plaskett described how they entered a conference room with both an inner and outer door. After filing inside, Plaskett explained how staffers barricaded the inner door with furniture and hid under a conference table. Seven minutes later, a group of insurrectionists enter the hallway outside of the conference room. One member of the mob throws his body against the door three times, breaking through the outer door. When faced with the inner door, “luckily, he moves on,” Plaskett said.
Plaskett also pointed out that the intruder famously pictured sitting at Pelosi’s desk in her office was carrying a 950,000-volt stun gun. “Where are you Nancy?” some of the insurrectionists called out. “We’re looking for you!.”
Newly released security video shows several Speaker Pelosi staffers rushing into a room in which they'd barricade themselves.— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 10, 2021
7 minutes later, Capitol rioters attempt to enter the room.
"They're pounding on doors trying to find" Speaker Pelosi, one staffer is heard whispering. pic.twitter.com/1Xj9UxMzdQ
Senator Schumer has near miss with members of the mob
In another newly-released video, impeachment manager Eric Swalwell described how insurrectionists came “within just yards” of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and members of his protective detail. The video showed Schumer walking down a hallway with his detail, only to turn around and run the other way moments later. Swalwell described how officers immediately shut the door behind them, and used their bodies to hold the door shut.
“As you were moving through that hallway, I paced it off. You were just 58 steps away,” Swalwell told senators.
Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.