Chilling footage of Mike Pence, the former US vice president, being evacuated from the Senate chamber as a violent mob approached on January 6 was played to senators for the first time at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday.
The footage, taken from the Capitol’s CCTV cameras, showed a group of Secret Service agents rushing Mr Pence and his family away from the Senate floor as rioters drew nearer and chanted threats. One agent could be seen carrying the nuclear football as they made their escape.
The graphic footage showed the rioters spreading through the halls of Congress even as Mr Pence was swept to safety. Some in the mob shouted “hang Mike Pence”.
Democrat prosecutors played the footage for the first time as they argued Mr Trump had “summoned the mob” behind last month’s riot and “channelled the rage” in a violent attempt to steal the election for himself.
“The mob was looking for Vice President Pence because of his patriotism, because the vice president refused to do what the president demanded and overturn the election results,” Stacey Plaskett, one of the Democrat prosecutors, told the Senate.
Ms Plaskett also detailed how the mob had attempted to find Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Speaker and the third in line to the presidency.