capitol riot

‘One of the Darkest Days': Texas Congressional Members Describe Mob Assault

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When rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, some members of the Texas delegation found themselves in the middle of the chaos.

Rep. Collin Allred, a Democrat from Dallas, was on the House floor.

"The security rushed into the House floor and escorted the leaders … from the floor very quickly and aggressively,” Allred said in an interview.

That's when the officers physically blocked the doors.

"We tried to proceed with the proceedings, but then we had to eventually suspend them,” Allred said. “We were told to get the gas masks out from beneath our seats."

He heard banging and shouting from outside the doors as he and other members were rushed out a back door to a secret location.

"I saw Capitol police with their guns drawn behind a barricade and these terrorists trying to break in. I saw the windows break,” he said. "I can't stress enough how dangerous the moment was."

Congressman Collin Allred describes the moments after the U.S. Capitol was breached Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Van Taylor, a Republican from Plano, condemned the assault.

"As a Marine in Iraq I fought for people's right to freedom of speech and freedom to assemble,” he said. “think they should exercise those rights peaceably but I think storming the U.S. Capitol and causing the House and the Senate to not be able to meet is really attacking the very institutions that are set up in our country to defend those rights.”

Rep. Marc Veasey, a Democrat from Fort Worth, was blocks away, on his way to the Capitol when the chaos erupted.

“It’s been crazy,” Veasey said. "Peaceful protest is something we allow in our country. But not anarchy, which is what is happening right now on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. I just never thought I would see anything like this in my life."

Congressman Marc Veasey shares the moments after he was alerted the U.S. Capitol had been breached.

Rep. Michael Burgess, a conservative Republican from Denton, said he had just left the House floor and was headed to his office when the rioters burst in.

"Nobody likes this,” he said. “Obviously we cherish and honor our ability to peacefully protest and peacefully petition our government for redress of grievances, but the Capitol police are there to protect personnel and visitors to the United States Capitol and they should not be put in this position."

But Burgess said he still wasn't sure if President-elect Joe Biden should be sworn in as the next president, and he declined to call the protesters "rioters."

"I don't know that. I don't have enough information on exactly who was involved,” he said. “But it's just not something we should do."

Democrats put the blame squarely on President Trump for encouraging the rioters and inciting the attack.

Allred said he was still shaken up.

"I am physically OK. I am emotionally extremely upset for our country,” he said. “This is one of the darkest days in our modern history."

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