Powerful, true words from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11) on the six-month anniversary of the 1/6 pro-Trump insurrection at the US Capitol:
On Wednesday, January 6, I arrived at the Capitol for the counting of the Electoral College votes. I was on the House floor when the building was breached and the House Chamber was placed into lockdown. Speaker Pelosi and other members of leadership were rushed off the floor by their security details, while the Sergeant at Arms locked the chamber doors and instructed members of Congress to don the gas masks kept under our seats in case of a chemical attack. With weapons drawn, Capitol Police used furniture to barricade the doors.
We were evacuated from the Chamber as the mob smashed through the windows and attempted to break down the doors at the main entrance to the floor — the same doors presidents are ushered through to deliver State of the Union addresses. As we left for a secure location through the Republican side of the Speaker’s Lobby, I turned to my left and saw another makeshift barricade had been erected by the entrance to our side of the Lobby. I looked up and through smashed glass saw a second faction of the mob attempting to force their way onto the floor from the front of the Chamber. Tragically, a rioter pushing her way through that same broken window was shot and killed several moments later.
I will not mince words about that nightmare. The siege of the US Capitol was an act of violent insurrection against a coequal branch of the federal government, incited by the words and actions of a president desperate for power and incapable of coping with perceived humiliation or defeat.
With our own eyes, we saw Donald Trump whip a crowd of his supporters into a frenzy outside the White House and urge them to march to the Capitol. With our own ears, we heard Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, tell them to engage in a “trial by combat” to overturn the election results. The mob was given orders, and the world watched on live TV as they carried them out.
So there’s no question that Donald J. Trump lit this flame. But, as we reflect on that wretched day six months later, never forget that it was Republicans in Congress who handed him the match.