WASHINGTON, D.C. (WROC) — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Rep. Tom Reed were among the lawmakers in D.C. Wednesday night. Both spoke out separately on Thursday afternoon, describing the anxiety of what occurred as they were in lockdown. The two additionally saying how democracy found a way to persist, and will continue to persist through it all.
“There was lots of shouting nobody knew what was going on,” said Gillibrand. The Senator described a high-anxiety scene that occurred as The U.S. Capital while counting Electoral College votes, as rioters began breaking in. “There was lots of shouting no one knew what was going on, a few minutes later Chief of Police stood behind the podium and said the Capital was breached, we would go into lockdown.”
Lawmakers in House and Senate chambers were moved to secured rooms in the basement of the premises.
“Where we were locked down was in my office which was in Longworth,” said Reed. “At no point in lockdown did I really worry about my safety per-say, because I was just watching and concerned for the future of the country, and my colleagues potentially on the floor that I had just. I was left focusing on that,” he said.
As they recounted the experience, both emphasized the importance of moving forward.
Reed, saying he appreciates President Trump’s acknowledgment on a looming transition of power. But he doesn’t support an instant response to the situation, like impeachment.
“I will continue to ask The President to commit to what he did today, support that orderly transition of power,” said Reed.
Gillibrand on the other hand, saying she wants instant removal of President Trump, through either prosecution, 25th amendment or impeachment.
“He should be removed from the office for the next two weeks, because I think he’s dangerous,” she said.
Both agree that full prosecution is in order for those storming the capital. And both, emphasize the importance of democracy prevailing through it all: while lawmakers had the option to continue counting votes in lockdown Wednesday night – they waited it out until they could physically be in that chamber again.
“We decided to wait a little longer to get back into the chamber, and that would be frankly retaking our chamber and showing that our democracy survived despite violence and insurrection,” said Gillibrand.
Reed said the overwhelming consensus among lawmakers was this: “We need to go back to the House chamber, we need to go back to the Senate chamber and we need to complete that process last night,” Reed said. “The mob did not win, democracy won.”
Gillibrand says after the Senators were moved to a room in the basement during lockdown, they remained there for four hours contacting their families and watching for updates on their phones.