Chaos at the Capitol - Part 2 - a Congressman's Account

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

I previously shared an eyewitness account of last Wednesday’s events from a man (“William”) who attended the rally and was near the Capitol building itself as everything unfolded.

On Monday, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) joined Marc Cox (on 97.1 FM Talk) to give his own account of what happened last Wednesday — as someone who was inside the Capitol when the breach occurred. Again, I encourage you to listen to the Congressman’s story (which picks up at about the 21:46 mark.)

Marc Cox: I want to welcome in my guest right now. Congressman Jason Smith, from the 8th Congressional District, joining us right now. Congressman Smith and I ran into each other at the World War II Memorial, just before the president’s speech that morning. Congressman, welcome to the show.

Congressman Smith: Good morning, Mark, great to be with you.

Marc Cox: Yeah, good to have you on. I’m anxious to hear your perspective on what happened last Wednesday — you were obviously in the Capitol when this horrendous incident happened, with a, you know, what? 50 or 60 of a crowd of 250,000 people, who took it upon themselves to commit the criminal act of breaking into that Capitol building.

Congressman Smith: You know, Mark, like you said, my day started visiting with 200 people that rode on a bus for 16 hours from southeast Missouri to be up there at that rally. And I spoke to them down at the World War II Memorial because Speaker Pelosi won’t allow your constituents in your office because of COVID. And so, I love to meet people who come from Missouri and the Show-Me State because I’m their voice — I represent them in Washington. That’s what you’re supposed to do. And…I go down and talk with them — great group of people. They were, they were a lot of folks who I see around southeast Missouri, very peaceful and fine.

But, you know, I left there. I went to the Capitol. I put on my suit. And then I went down to the House floor, because at one o’clock is when we started the debate. And…and it’s very unfortunate what happened after that. We’re in the House chamber, roughly 80 to 100 members, and all of the sudden, you started hearing these louder voices — louder noises. And they came in and they pulled out Speaker Pelosi; they pulled out Steve Scalise; they pulled out Steny Hoyer; and then they shut down the debate, and they locked all the doors and barricaded us in there.

And then, all of the sudden, protesters started breaking windows out of the House chambers and surrounding everything. And the Capitol Police was putting…was shooting tear gas to try to push them back, and we had to put on gas masks in the chambers. They pushed them back far enough where the majority of the House members were able to exit through a side stairwell. And then myself and five other members of Congress were still there. Congressman Mullin is one of my best friends — and he did Special Ops and was helping the Capitol Police. And I wouldn’t leave the House floor without him. If something happened to him, I couldn’t tell him and his six kids that I left their father staying on the House floor. So, while we were there, gunshots started to ring out; had to drop to the floor behind the bulletproof seat that’s in the House chamber, not knowing if that was an invader or if that was Capitol Police.

And then, whenever it was clear for the remaining six of us to leave, we had to walk by the young lady who was bleeding out while they were holding back the protesters. It was something that you would not imagine you would see in the United States Capitol, and it’s something that better not ever happen again.

Marc Cox: Amen. Amen. And you and I spoke that morning after you talked to your constituents at the World War II Memorial. You were preparing to walk back down to the Capitol building, where you were going to be among those people who stood up to object, as the Twelfth Amendment allows you to do, to certain slates of electors. We know the mood that was there, Congressman. These were patriots who showed up to express their First Amendment rights. The people that stood with me by the Washington Memorial and listened to the president’s words were not the people that went down there and caused problems.

Congressman Smith: They absolutely weren’t. These were Missourians. These were people from all 50 states that I walked through, that were peaceful, Godfearing individuals. And whoever…whoever intermingled with them and caused disruption and chaos and…leading to six deaths already in our United States Capitol — it’s just absolutely unacceptable. And I’ll tell you, like, what we were doing on the House floor is representing our constituents, representing Missourians, doing what they asked us to do. We were voting.

Congressman Smith then went on to share his thoughts regarding the response of some of his Democratic colleagues.

While I was setting to get on this call, Mark, I was reminded — because I heard the press release — about a colleague of mine named Cori Bush, who — you all ran on a news release — that she’s filing legislation to expel members of Congress who voted. She is trying to expel members of Congress for voting the way she doesn’t like. Just because she didn’t like the vote, she’s trying to expel? This is what the socialists are doing right now. They are trying to expunge and cancel anything that they don’t like. They believe in diversity, but they don’t believe in diversity of thought or diversity of ideas — or anything that they disagree with. Which is absolutely unacceptable. And they’re trying to blame certain folks for inciting the crowd?

I’ll tell you what’s going on right now with Speaker Pelosi calling us back in the next 48 hours so she can impeach Donald Trump for a second time — whenever it’s nine days until he leaves office? The last impeachment took four-and-a-half months. Knowing that there is no way possible that he can be impeached and removed? She’s just doing this to throw more gasoline on the fire. They want to unite the country? That’s a bunch of garbage. All they’re wanting to do is breed hate and discontent. And she has no reasonable belief that this can happen. The only thing that she knows as leader of…Speaker of the House is that the only thing that unites her socialist party is their hatred for Donald Trump and conservatives. And so, she wants to leave that lingering. She wants to leave that lingering. The United States Senate will not even get the impeachment certification until an hour after Joe Biden is president. And she’s still going ahead with this.

Marc Cox: Yeah. The politics of it are pretty clear there, in my opinion. Congressman, before I let you go, what do you foresee happening here going forward? You know what it’s like to serve as a minority member in the House. Now, the Repubicans in the Senate are gonna face an equal challenge to try to, you know, they have maybe a better option to block a few things over there in the United States Senate. What do you see as the plan going forward for Republicans to make sure they regain the House and the Senate in 2022?

Congressman Smith: We have to regain it. The Democrats have everything that they want — they have the White House, they have the House, they have the Senate. This is what we have been the most fearful for. Everything that they have…they have said that they wanted to do — this is their opportunity to push it. And we have to stand together and put every roadblock possible to fight for the people that we represent, so they don’t take away our Second Amendment rights; so that they don’t increase taxes so much where our small businesses close down; where they don’t overregulate to a degree that we can’t even survive. The things that they have campaigned on and pushed is what they’re going to try to push right now. And I’ll tell you, my colleagues in the United States Senate are going to have to stand up and learn to use every tool in the toolbox to try to stop them from taking our freedoms away.

As with the previous account with “William”, this is just one person’s report of what they witnessed and their impressions/thoughts on that (and some of the political fallout). But obviously, Congressman Smith had a front-row seat, as well, albeit from inside the building. I thought it worthwhile to share his perspective, as well.