Investigation launched after panic buttons were removed from Democrat's desk before Capitol attack
Panic buttons were removed before the attack on the Capitol
An investigation has been launched into the removal of panic buttons from the congressional office of Democratic representative Ayanna Pressley before the riot that occurred in the Capitol building in Washington last week.
This comes after Pressley's chief of staff, Sarah Groh, noticed the buttons had been ripped out while staff barricaded themselves inside as Donald Trump supporters stormed the building in an attempt to prevent Joe Biden's election victory being ratified.
A spokesperson for Pressley said the relevant authorities had been informed and the matter is now under formal investigation.
“During the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Congresswoman Pressley’s Chief of Staff realised the duress buttons installed throughout the Congresswoman’s office suite had been removed," said spokesperson Ricardo A. Sánchez on Wednesday night.
“The matter has been raised with the relevant agencies and is currently under investigation.”
Sanchez confirmed that prior to the assault on the Capitol, the panic buttons had been installed and were regularly tested.
“The safety of the Congresswoman, her family and our staff remain our top priority and at the direction of the Congresswoman, the Sergeant at Arms oversaw the installation of new duress buttons throughout the office following the attack,” said Mr Sánchez.
Pressley told Boston based media was "unnerving."
“Learning that those panic buttons had been removed from my office was unnerving," she told the 7News Boston.
“I called within hours for the [House] Oversight Committee to initiate a thorough investigation to understand those individuals and agencies that might have enabled this violent attack.”
Pressley is one of a small number of black Democrat Congresswomen who were elected to office in 2019 who Trump said should "go back to places from which they came."
Fellow Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused Republicans trying to wash their hands of their part in inciting the mob last week of cowardice.
She said Trump and his allies had the blood of the five people who died curing the attack on their hands during an hour long Instagram live stream. Watch a clip from her stream below.
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) January 13, 2021