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Vice President Mike Pence begged the acting Defense Secretary to ‘clean up the Capitol’ as pro-Trump rioters flooded the building, report says


President Donald Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence speak during a coronavirus briefing in February 2020. Alex Wong / Getty Images

  • The Associated Press obtained an internal Pentagon document on the Jan.6 Capitol riot.

  • According to the media outlet, Vice President Mike Pence urgently called the acting Secretary of Defense.

  • “Clear the Capitol,” Pence said after the crowds stood in the building for hours.

  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

After a group of supporters of former President Donald Trump violated the U.S. Capitol on January 6, forcing lawmakers to evacuate and leaving several people dead, questions have arisen over the timeline of events.

Some of these details emerged in an internal Defense Department document that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was in the building when the Capitol Riot began, made an urgent appeal amid the chaos.

“Clean up the Capitol,” Pence told acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, The Associated Press reported. Pence was in a “safe place” when he made the call, but the Capitol had already been overrun by rioters for two hours.

The Associated Press has reconstructed the siege timeline based on the document and previously known details.

Read more: Donald Trump faces a legal threat on several fronts. Here are the lawyers in his corner.

According to the outlet, the timeline “exposes then-President Donald Trump’s inaction” and “shows intelligence missteps, tactical errors and bureaucratic delays have been overshadowed by the government’s inability to understand the scale and intensity of a violent uprising own citizens. “

Pence was on Capitol Hill on January 6 overseeing the electoral college vote count and certifying President Joe Biden’s victory. Trump encouraged his supporters to come to Washington, DC, to “stop the theft,” a reference to his unsubstantiated claims of widespread electoral fraud.

Before the siege, Trump addressed a crowd of his supporters and told them to walk to Capitol Hill. He also criticized Pence for failing to block the Electoral College count, although the vice president’s role is largely ceremonial.

Some of the rioters were caught on video chanting “hang Mike Pence”.

“Mike Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution,” Trump tweeted as his supporters moved closer to the Senate chamber, just minutes after the evacuation of Pence around 2:13 p.m.

An hour later, Trump tweeted again, urging his supporter who had already invaded the building and attacked the police to “stay peaceful.”

Pence’s call for Miller to clean up the Capitol came at 4:08 p.m., according to the Associated Press.

At 4:17 p.m., Trump first urged his supporters to leave, tweeting a video of himself repeating false election claims and saying “come home and go home in peace.”

The Capitol was not declared secure until 8 p.m., and law enforcement came under heavy criticism for its response to the day’s events.

Got a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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