“Multiple Capitol injuries! Multiple Capitol injuries!”
“They’re throwing metal poles at us.”
“Multiple law enforcement injuries, DSO, get up here.”
The agonizing sound of D.C. cops begging for reinforcements rang out in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday when House Democratic impeachment managers aired chilling new audio and security footage capturing the chaos that unfolded on Jan. 6.
In dispatch calls made at about 1:30 p.m., just after Vice President Mike Pence had gaveled over the joint session to certify election results and before rioters had breached the building, officers desperately called for back up.
“You’ve got a group of about 50 charging up the hill on the west front... they are approaching the wall now,” the dispatch says.
“They’re starting to dismantle the reviewing stand. They’re throwing metal poles at us,” an officer says.
“We need some reinforcements up here now,” another officer yells, as he begs for back up. “They’re starting to pull the gates down. They’re pulling metal poles at us.”
“We just had an explosion go on up here. I don’t know if they’re fireworks or what, but they’re starting to throw explosives, fireworks materials,” an officer says.
Moments later, amid calls of multiple injuries, an officer yells, “This is now effectively a riot.”
Impeachment managers aired the audio and several previously unseen clips of security footage on Wednesday as Reps. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) chronicled, in painstaking detail, how the day unfolded.
It followed a harrowing custom-made video of the attack interspersed with Trump’s statements that he “loved” the “special” rioters that aired on Tuesday as the trial began. Coupled with Rep. Jamie Raskin’s (D-MD) moving account of being in the Capitol on Jan. 6 with his family, the day after he buried his 25-year-old son, the visceral presentation forced Trump’s team to switch their speaking order.
Much of the new footage played on Wednesday showed just how narrowly members of Congress and their staff missed being overrun by the mob.
“Some of you, I understand, could hear them,” Swalwell told senators. “But most of the public does not know how close these rioters came to you. As you were moving through that hallway, I paced it off, you were just 58 steps from where the mob was amassing and where police were rushing to stop them.”
Plaskett played security footage showing the first rioters smashing through a window to the Capitol building—one of whom held a Confederate flag, and others who wielded police shields and a baseball bat. There was just one Capitol police officer on the other side.
“The Capitol stands because of people like that,” Plaskett said.
Shortly after, the mob made their way up the stairs towards the Senate chamber, which was being guarded by a lone officer, Eugene Goodman.
Previously unseen CCTV shows Goodman running down a hallway, past Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). As Goodman passed Romney, he motioned toward the senator, who immediately turned around and ran in the other direction, potentially saving his life.
Meanwhile, rioters began searching for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. “Nancy, where are you? We’re looking for you!” one rioter can be heard in audio played by impeachment managers.
New security footage shows eight of Pelosi’s staffers running to hide in a conference room, which had an inner door that they barricaded with furniture. They hid under a table in the inner room.
Seven minutes after the last staffer entered the room, rioters filled the hallway. Footage shows at least two men trying to break down the conference room door. They broke the outer door but gave up upon seeing the inner door and moved on.
Plaskett played audio of a Pelosi aide hiding in the room, whispering into a phone, “They’re pounding on the doors trying to find her.”
Dozens of other lawmakers and their staff narrowly missed the mob. Footage showed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) being ushered through a hallway—then immediately turning around and running the other way. Officers barricaded a door behind him using their bodies.
Meanwhile, police were still calling in for backup as hand-to-hand combat escalated outside the building. “We’re still taking rocks, bottles, and pieces of flag and metal poles,” one officer told the dispatcher. “The crowd is using munitions against us. They have—bear spray in the crowd.”
“We lost the line! We’ve lost the line!” another yells in a panicked call. “We’ve been flanked.”
Seven Democratic lawmakers took turns on Wednesday chronicling the months-long lead up to January 6, from Trump’s refusal back in May to commit to a possible peaceful transfer, to his pre-election claims that the election would be rigged, to his mid-election orders to “stop the count,” to his escalating post-election efforts to threaten officials, pressure the Department of Justice, ignore court rulings, and attack Vice President Mike Pence.
“Anyone who was against the president became an enemy,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) said.
Trump’s defense team argued on Tuesday that the trial was nothing more than a partisan, overly emotional, unconstitutional effort to punish a private citizen.
However, Bruce Castor, whose rambling, nonsensical defense left almost everyone—including Trump and Republican senators—cringing, conceded that Dems had given such a powerful presentation that it caught Trump’s team off guard.