Court filings detail dramatic near encounter between Schumer and Proud Boys member on January 6

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    Court filings have shed further light on the dramatic moment when Proud Boy Joshua Pruitt nearly came face to face with the then-Senate minority leader during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

    Pruitt pleaded guilty in June to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, and prosecutors have asked that he receive five years in prison.

    A court filing this weekend from prosecutors detailed how a Capitol Police special agent identified by his initials, M.L., pulled Chuck Schumer out of his chair on the Senate floor on January 6. Schumer, M.L., and two other members of the detail went to the basement of the Capitol in an attempt to escape the building, prosecutors say.

    The New York Democrat and his detail were “crouch[ing] behind the recessed walls for cover” as they waited for an elevator to take them to an evacuation vehicle, court documents say, when the leader of Schumer’s detail – a sergeant identified as K.F. – saw Pruitt advancing.

    K.F. made eye contact with Pruitt and yelled “evac, evac, evac,” prosecutors said.

    Security footage from that day shows Schumer and his detail quickly fleeing the area, and prosecutors said that the sergeant “recalled hearing Pruitt getting louder behind him,” and that “he felt as though they were being chased.”

    M.L. told investigators he believed Pruitt was four or five seconds away from reaching the Senator.

    Schumer and his detail quickly ran down a ramp and shut a set of double doors behind them, prosecutors said, prompting Pruitt to turn around. The moment was also captured on video.

    Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell approached the same double doors as he attempted to evacuate shortly thereafter, prosecutors said, and also had to turn back.

    Pruitt eventually left the Capitol Visitor’s Center after learning that someone had been shot in the building.

    Pruitt also confronted police officers at the Capitol and threw a sign inside the building during the riot. Before his plea agreement, Pruitt had faced eight counts, including physical acts of violence and obstructing law enforcement.

    “Every day I enter the beacon of our country, the U.S. Capitol, I relive the memories of that day, and none are as impactful as the moments I saw Mr. Pruitt approaching us with the intent to inflict harm to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate,” M.L. wrote in a letter to the judge, asking for Pruitt to receive the maximum prison sentence.

    The special agent also wrote that “on that day, the heroism, bravery, and resolve of my colleagues held our democracy together as it was on the brink of peril,” and that his family “will never rest easy whenever I go to work again.”

    This story has been updated to more properly characterize the prosecutors’ filings about the Capitol Police special agent identified as M.L..

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