News and Magazine

  • Congressional leaders huddled together in a secure location on January 6, according to new footage.
  • Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and others had called Pence and national security officials for more support.
  • The seven-minute clip presented by the January 6 committee showed a rare moment of bipartisan collaboration.

Congressional leaders had huddled together in a secure location on January 6, 2021, and reached out to Vice President Mike Pence, national security officials, and nearby state leaders to help quell the violence, according to new footage released Thursday by the House select committee investigating the riot.

In a roughly seven-minute clip played by the panel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and others are seen on the phone with a number of officials, urging for more military and law-enforcement support after rioters broke into the Capitol.

“I’m gonna call up the effing secretary of DOD,” Schumer told Pelosi before getting on the phone with then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, asking him to deploy the Maryland National Guard.

“We have some senators who are still in their hideaways,” Schumer said. “They need massive personnel now.”

Pelosi spoke with then-Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam about activating its national guard, the footage showed and said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had been in touch with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

“Oh my gosh. They’re just breaking windows,” Pelosi said on the call with Northam while watching the riots unfold on TV. “They said somebody was shot. It’s just horrendous. And all at the instigation of the president of the United States.”

In a phone call with then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Pelosi and Schumer told him they were concerned about the personal safety of members of Congress and pushed him to get Trump to publicly condemn the violence. 

“They’re breaking windows and going in, obviously ransacking our offices, and all the rest of that — that’s nothing. The concern we have about personal harm, personal safety just transcends everything,” Pelosi said.

“Why don’t you get the president to tell them to leave the Capitol, Mr. Attorney General, in your law enforcement responsibilities?” Schumer asked. “A public statement they should all leave.”

Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell, and other congressional leaders also huddled to ask for help and updates from the Defense Department as the hours went by.

“Just pretend for a moment it was the Pentagon, or the White House, or some other entity that was under siege. And let me say, you can logistically get people there as you make the plan,” Pelosi said on the phone. 

Pence, who had been escorted to another secure location, had been in contact with congressional leaders throughout the day, coordinating how they would resume the 2020 electoral certification process, according to the footage.

Law-enforcement officers said they believe “the House and the Senate will be able to reconvene in roughly an hour,” Pence told Pelosi on the phone around 6 p.m. before lawmakers eventually returned to the Capitol. 

“Good news!” Schumer said after hearing the update from Pence. “Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President. Good news,” Pelosi said.

Other members of Congress seen in the footage include Republicans House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Senate Minority Whip John Thune. The footage was presented to support the January 6 committee’s claims that members of Congress had been working to stop the violence while Trump refused to take action.


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