‘Unnerving’: Pressley says panic buttons removed from office prior to attack on Capitol

WASHINGTON (WHDH) - As chaos unfolded inside the United States Capitol last week, Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley says staff discovered panic buttons in her office were missing.

“Learning that those panic buttons had been removed from my office was unnerving,” she recalled.

Pressley’s office says the extra security measures were installed after Pressley received death threats and that the duress buttons have been used and regularly tested.

Newly sworn-in Congressman Jamaal Bowman says his office hasn’t had a panic button since he was sworn in on Jan. 3, tweeting, “FYI, my office also did not have panic buttons during the insurrection..”

However, Pressley says she should have had a button.

“I called within hours for the Oversight Committee to initiate a thorough investigation to understand those individuals and agencies that might have enabled this violent attack, she said.

President Trump has since spoken out about the deadly riots that took place at the Capitol.

“Like all of you, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity at the Capitol last week,” Trump said in a newly released video. “Those who engaged in the attacks last week will be brought to justice.”

Some Democrats say they feel their Republican colleagues put them at risk during the Capitol siege.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “There were QAnon, white supremacist sympathizers and frankly white supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I had felt would disclose my location.”

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill added that unnamed lawmakers led tours through the Capitol building the day before the violence, allowing the rioters to plot out their attack.

“Those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5th, a reconnaissance for the next day, those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd,” she said.

More than 30 lawmakers are calling for an investigation and the inspector general of the Capitol police is looking into security breaches.

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