Washington DC - The atmosphere was surreal, said Congressman Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, who experienced firsthand today’s mob attack on the US Capitol.
LaMalfa shared details of what he witnessed as pro-Trump protesters spilled beyond the Capitol’s barriers and police, leading to the temporary shutdown of Wednesday’s review and certification of Electoral College votes.
The mob’s violent actions resulted in the lockdown of the entire Capitol campus at 2:19 p.m., including the two chambers in the midst of debating objections to Arizona’s electoral votes.
Everyone in the two chambers was evacuated, including Vice President Mike Pence, Senate President Pro Tempore Charles E. Grassley and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, all in the presidential line of succession.
LaMalfa was in attendance to witness the review and certification process.
“We heard violent pounding on the doors and at one point someone shouted, ‘shots fired,’ and we all hit the floor,” he added. “People inside the House Chamber were putting furniture against the inside doors and busting up chairs to use as a weapon just in case.”
LaMalfa said he wasn’t scared as chaos broke out.
“Inside, the Capitol police and Secret Service were doing exactly what they are trained to do,” he said. “They were focused and doing a good job of getting us all out and into the underground tunnels. I felt immediately that we were going to be fine. They kept saying, ‘hussle, hussle, go, go,’ as they sequestered us into a different area of safety.”
Intolerable, was the word LaMalfa used to describe what was taking place outside the building
“I don’t care what group it is, or what side they are on, this is way beyond what should take place here. Whether such action is taking place against federal property or private property, this is absolutely intolerable,” he said.
Once the group from the Chamber were in the narrow tunnels, moving toward the basement, LaMalfa said he felt much calmer.
“I knew they (the mob) couldn’t get to us in there, they couldn’t get past the security that was in front of us and behind us,” he added.
LaMalfa went on to say he continues to stand behind his decision to challenge the electoral college certification until a Congressional investigation is complete.
“I have been receiving different signals from some of my colleagues because of what has occurred today, but I remain firm. We can’t be cowed into not doing our job because a mob showed up, no matter what side that mob says they are on,” he said. “We have to get to the bottom of what went on in the five states in question.
“If we allow mob action to break down the Congressional process, we no longer have a working government,” he concluded.
As night fell, Congress reconvened the certification process as the deadly protest was pushed back from its violent attack.
LaMalfa, who serves a U.S. Representative for California’s First Congressional District, was sworn in for this fifth term on Monday.