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tv   Views from the House Reps. Markwayne Mullin Jason Crow and Tom Malinowski  CSPAN  July 25, 2021 10:00pm-11:02pm EDT

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heard, and experienced that date while in the house chamber we begin with oklahoma congressman and democratic congressman of colorado, >> madame speaker, members of congress, pursuant to the laws of the united states, senate and house of representatives are meeting in joint session to verify their certificates and count the votes of the electors in several states for president and vice president of the united states. >> at 1:00 p.m. on january 6, the house and senate met in joint session to count the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election. an hour later, a mop entered the capital with the intention of disrupting the vote. vice president pence and speaker pelosi were evacuated to safe
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locations. minutes later, security officials ushered steny hoyer and other leaders off the house for, with tension rising in the building, the house and senate abruptly recessed. >> without objection, the house will go back into recess. >> oklahoma republican markwayne mullin and colorado democrat jason crow. first, representative markwayne mullin who talks about his recollection of being on the house for that day. rep. mullin: we were sitting there, as we were just starting the debate. i started noticing a lot of activity with capitol police and the sergeant of arms. you could hear their earpieces, which is unusual, i could hear
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their earpieces because there was one near to me and it was getting pretty exciting. unfortunately, i've been in those situations before overseas and i knew there was an issue really quick. i said something is happening, something is going on. then it was just a matter of a minute or so later that people started looking at their phones because twitter stream started going off. that was the first indication that something was happening. then things started to move pretty quick then. >> so you are where in the chamber at this point? rep. mullin: i think it was the second row on the front on the republican side, on the right side, kind of towards the middle. >> where are the police officers
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that you are able to hear what is happening on their earpieces? rep. mullin: they were moving up and down the aisle. they were going in front of the aisle in what we call the well, which is the front part. so it was clear that something was happening, and then as the lieutenant came to the mic and said -- and i just kind of started walking. the lieutenant came to the mic and he said they have breached the capital, and they are in the capital building, they may be coming this way. and then about that time they came rushing in and rushed out pelosi and i think scully's. i don't know if lawyer was there -- scalise.
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i know pelosi's guys came in and they took them out. a lieutenant came to the mic and said we are going on lock down and if they breach the floor, he wants everybody to lay down. as i said, i've been in these situations before, similar, not exactly the same. >> can you explain, for those who don't know your background? rep. mullin: i would prefer not to. he said to everybody to get in and lay down. i stood up at that point and said sir, you are wrong. i turned around to everybody and i said do not lay down on the floor. if they hit that door, we need to go out those doors and down those steps. i said i mean no disrespect, but you don't lay down during a riot. that's how you get people
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killed. people are going to get stomped, walked over. there are people who lose their footing during a riot. he understood that, and he was very receptive, and like i said, there was still a lot of noise going on in his earpiece and he was trying to make decisions the best he could. what my observation was is that the capitol police and sergeant of arms did the best they could and they were doing the best they could with the training and equipment they had. the problem is that were not actually trained for it and they had no contingency plan for how to get members are people off the floor in a case like that. the first thing you have to do is have a contingency plan, when you're dealing with a situation like that. each of your contingency plans should have a contingency plan on how to do it. it was evident right off the bat that they didn't have any idea how to get the staff or members
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off the house floor. but they were willing to react. the fact that they were willing to do something, they were willing to react, but they didn't actually have the training or the protocols put in place to do what probably needed to be done. you can debrief them 50,000 times and come up with 50,000 different solutions that you could've done better. so they were doing the best they could in those situations. when i started to explain to the lieutenant, just very brief because things were happening very quick. he was very receptive of it. but by the end they had already put us on lock down. it was just a matter of seconds before we heard them hit the first set of doors. >> which doors are you talking about? rep. mullin: there's two sets of doors, doors right in the hallway and a small gap like a small little foyer, a small area
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where you walk up a couple of steps before you enter into the actual chamber. so the first of the doors are the ones that are actually in the hallway. we heard them hit the doors. i grabbed one of the capitol police individuals which was on the detail. he was part of someone's detail and i think he was part of the detail that stayed behind. i'm not 100% sure on that. we run over to the republican side and grab a desk and we bring it over there to put in front of the doors. then someone else grabbed a bench and put it on top, so we stacked furniture in front of the door. you can see pictures of that. then the sergeant came back on and he said that they've
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deployed teargas and want the people to put the gas hoods on. every chair there gas hoods. i jumped about this for years, we have all these gas hoods and stuff but they never showed anybody ever, once again, lack of training, which was a failure of leadership, they were doing everything they could, but contingency plans, they failed at it. they instructed everybody to put their hoods on, but nobody how to put them on -- nobody knew how to put them on. i kind of question the fact that we needed to put it on anyway because there was teargas in the rotunda and nowhere near rest. sometimes when you do that you cause people to panic a little
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bit, but no one did. the members handled it very well. the capitol police were not freezing up, they were reacting the best they could without clear direction. and then just a second later, they broke -- broke through the first set of doors and hit the second set of doors. >> are you still right there? rep. mullin: yes. there were two members right there. when i stood up, i went to the back of the room because i knew i could be of assistance. i knew i could be an asset. i wasn't trying to do their job for them, they were going to do their job, what it took to protect us. i felt very confident in that. but i also knew they could be easily overran. i went back to try to be an asset. some of the guys i had talked to multiple times and we've talked
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about certain cases and certain things we have done in the past. and so i knew these guys. i took off my tie and my jacket, and someone said are we doing this, brother? i believe it was ronny jackson, i'm not 100% sure, who was going to be a willing participant and help keep them from breaking in. it was just a second later -- i think it was just a second later that they broke the glass, and when they first broke it, they use a glass punch and it sounded like gunshots. they started yelling, shots fired, shots fired. i actually thought shots were
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fired too, and i jumped, behind the chairs -- i jumped behind their and i quickly realized that was a glass punch. you could see the holes were from last punch. so i yelled back shoot. now all the capitol police have their guns drawn and they are yelling. capitol police showed great restraint by not opening fire because everybody thought shots were fired. the fact that they didn't discharge their weapons, they were using their heads and thinking, even though they may have lacked training, they did not like discipline. the capitol police showed great restraint. there's a lot of situations that in those circumstances, shots
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would have started being fired in opposite directions and people would have lost their lives. so the capitol police did a great job by showing restraint. when i realized it wasn't shots fired, i started hollering, this is a matter of three seconds. i started yelling, no shots, don't fire, don't shoot. and then i went to the glass and they were there, the rioters were there and they were being very belligerent, to some degree. i started yelling, is it worth it? you almost got killed, is it worth it? one of the guys said, what? and i said, you almost died, is it worth it? and the guys stopped, this time they were really shaking and beating on the door, and they stopped. they didn't respond for a second.
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anytime you have those crowds like that and people have ill intentions, there are professional agitators that can get people start up. you can take five agitators and they can get a crowd of 1000 fired up really quick, especially if they know what they were doing. what i would consider the true agitator, i don't have his history, we didn't do a deep dive on who he is, but he got up and came to the front and started using keywords that people use when they are trying to agitate a crowd. once in agitator gets a crowd going, they don't take the lead, they let the crowd take the lead and they fall back. once i settle down a jump back in front and start trying to stir everybody back up. he came to the front and started using words that, quite frankly,
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i said i would put you down. the guy looked at me and said, this is our house. i said it is our house, too. he said is our f-ing house. i said it is our house, too. the lieutenant and i were talking back and forth. share of meals at some point, troy mills from houston, he started engaging with them, too, talking with him back and forth. he is a share of, he definitely knows what he is doing. he's a sheriff. at some point during that exchange, they had went around to the speakers lobby over on the side and we started hearing a commotion there. that same lieutenant, we were
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all focused on that front door, what i call the front door. when the president is addressing the joint session, that's what i call the front door but it's the back session. they started a value -- evacuating people down the steps. they unlock the chamber and started getting people through. during this time they evacuated the floor, but the balcony was still locked up. because of covid we were all separated, so they wanted to oak -- open the balcony and instead of gas up there, there were members. they were still locked in. you have to go into the hallway and in this case it was an unsecured area.
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they started hitting the back door which by the speakers lobby is just glass. i think there is video that shows the unfortunate situation that took place. the lieutenant had a post up back there. by my account, he was by himself. they were trying to protect the floor. the sergeant of arms and the capitol police were doing a phenomenal job, still protecting members, putting their lives on the line to protect us. doing an outstanding job with the tools and training they had. they were doing the best they could. i had turned around and i could see lieutenant was posted up. i couldn't hear what he was saying. there was commotion going on in
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front of us and back there. from my perspective, i felt like he was alone, and he was in a position, i could tell he was giving some kind of commands. i couldn't tell exactly what he was saying but you could tell he was in a little bit of a situation. my mind started going on, if they breach that door, we will have to engage them really quick. that engagement would be whatever it took to stop them. i know people were prepared to do whatever it took to stop them. >> did you have a weapon? >> a lot of things happen in those situations. you have to react.
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i knew be a chokepoint if they came through that front door. you pile them up right there, and if you create a dog pile, it slows people down and creates chaos, so you pol them up. that's the true chokepoint you have, you pol them up right there. that is a technique you can use. it's still a chokepoint, but not very big, not a very good one. once they come in, they can scatter all over the place. >> do you think that is why [indiscernible] is that the person we see in the video that you referenced? do you think he was posted up because of what you just described?
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rep. mullin: absolutely. he did not want to use lethal force at all. this guy is later in his career. i guarantee you, i don't know for a fact, but i can guarantee you he's never had a pulled weapon in a manner like that before. i know for a fact, because after it happened, he came over and he was physically and emotionally distraught. i actually gave him a hug and said sir, you did what you had to do. unfortunately, the young lady, her families life has changed and it's an unfortunate situation that she lost her life, but the lieutenant's life has also change, too, because he's never had to use lethal force. it wasn't his choice.
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he did not show up that day to have to do that. he got put in a situation where he had to do his job because there were members still in the balcony. if you present your weapon and give commands and they still approach you and they don't listen, you have no choice. you have to add that point discharge your weapon in a manner of self-defense or it will be taken away from you and put all our lives in danger. so what he did, he did, but i believe that he saved other people's lives along the way because i think there would have been a lot more that would have lost their lives. because there were still a lot of members in the balcony on a few still up on the four than those that were already evacuated. this was a very dark day in american history that should have never, ever happened. and all of us are to blame on
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this. republicans, democrats, the media, the administration, because we have to learn a different way to debate. what we use as politicians and media is key phrases to get people aroused, to get people excited, to get people's attention. the problem is we do that so much it turns into anger. this went too far. it caused a dark day in american history that will be there forever. i didn't want to be there. it was an unfortunate situation. i wish i was never there. but i had to react the way i reacted and other people reacted the way they had to react. we still had people up top and i saw jason crow, a congressman from colorado, i saw him pick his head up. we don't get along when it comes to politics, but we get along personally.
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jason and i have had a lot of workouts together. he is there quite often. he poked his head up and i said jason, get them out. he said the doors locked. i said break the door, get them out. there was a sergeant up there that was looking for keys to unlock the door. unlocking in my opinion the wrong door. i said go out this door. so they went out and evacuated and as soon as they got out, then the rest of us left the floor. and then i went to the triage center, which i haven't seen a thing like that since stuff you see overseas. keep this in mind, they had two
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options. they could be passive or use lethal force. they didn't have weapons to be less lethal. pepper spray is not designed to stop a writing crowd. it doesn't work that way. -- to stop a rioting crowd. but they did not have less lethal weapons like rubber bullets or beanbags to put out warning shots to stop before they escalate into lethal. they either had to be passive or they had to escalated to actual lethal force. when they decided to pull a weapon, then you have to use it. you don't have a choice. the lieutenant had to do what he had to do to protect us.
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but when i went down to the triage center, i saw at least 50 guys, i went down there before i went to the lockup room where everybody was out just to check on them. i went to the triage center first, the holding area. no one was locked in the room, you could come and go as you -- come and go as you wanted to. i went and checked on all the capitol police. i saw 50 guys at least and shook their hands, men and women, from the d.c. police, the sergeant at a and the capitol police. broken noses, broken arms, i saw one guy with his i completely gouged out literally and they were trying to evacuate him but they could not get medical services to get him where he needed to go. luckily his eye was saved but he
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will lose some vision in it. i saw guys that were hyperventilating, guys that were hit with pepper spray. and i thought, you just think about this, they showed so much restraint, because they weren't afraid to put their body in harm's way. they weren't cowards. they showed so much restraint, they could have killed individuals. if you got in a fight on the side of the street with an officer, that officer has every right to use lethal force. they could've easily use lethal force if they had wanted to, but they had great restraint, because they had to calculate this by themselves. if it was any other country, any other place in the world and that would've happened to a government building, there would
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have been countless people that would have lost their lives. but these officers were willing to show enough restraint, they were putting their actual body in harm's way, when they had a firearm on their side and did not decide to use them, i think they are absolutely heroes. i don't know if i could've done that. i honestly don't know if i would have been able to do that, but they did. it is remarkable to me that unfortunately, one person lost their lives but gunshot and i will say it is unfortunate, but it could have been so much worse. >> also in the chamber that day was jason crow. the colorado democrat was just three days into his second term on capitol hill. he talked about how his day began on january 6. rep. crow: my scheduler texted me that there was a spot available to sit in the gallery
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and watch the opening of the debate. i wanted to have my voice heard in that process to rebuke the lies and conspiracy theories that were being shared by some of my colleagues, but i didn't have a slight yet. my scheduler told me she had a spot for the first hour and asked me whether i wanted to do it, and i think i texted back, sure, why not? so i finished the work i was doing and grabbed a quick lunch at the cafeteria and around 12:30 walked over to the capitol to go into the calorie and join some of my colleagues. there was tension in the air, it was an overcast day. my family had decided to leave early. they were originally scheduled to fly back to colorado the next day on the seventh. we decided to have them leave on
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the fifth because of the planned protests and just not wanting the kids to be around in case anything happened. so there was kind of an ominous feeling leading up to that, but that morning i had confidence that the capitol police would be able to address anything that came up. >> so you decide to make your way over to the capitol, and where in the chamber did you go? rep. crow: i went up to the gallery level and checked in with some of the staff there. they had a checklist of the members they were expecting to go up. they were kind of spaced out because of covid. there was about two dozen of us that set up on the gallery side, the democratic side of the gallery. i don't remember there being any republicans on their side of the gallery, many of them were down on the floor. the way we had planned that the
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democrats, just those that were speaking and debating would be on the floor and those who were observing would be in the gallery. so about two dozen of us took our seats, spaced out, and watched as the speaker gaveled in the proceedings, and the senate came over, the vice president came over and saw the opening debates. at the same time we're sitting with our phones open looking at the protests and what was happening and then saw that as it came to the capital and turn from a protest into a violent mob and the clashes with police started. >> so you are aware of the protesters approaching the capital because you are following the news on your phone, not because you receive communications from security persons at the cap -- at the capitol? rep. crow: that's right.
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we were following it on social media and news feeds on our phone. we actually saw is they hit the first barricade and started to fight with police and heard the chants of kill them, bring out the guillotine and bill the gallows. we saw and heard all of that happening. i remember thinking to myself, i don't know whether there are enough police. i looked at the size of that crowd, the thousands of trump supporters and rioters clashing with what seemed like just a couple hundred police out there at the barricades, with very small fences between them and the rioters. that was the first time i thought to myself, i don't know whether they are ready. >> what are you saying at this moment to your colleagues?
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what, if any, conversations were you having? rep. crow: we are looking at this and wondering what is going on. we were scheduled to be in our blocks to sit at the gallery for an hour at a time. i remember looking over at one of my colleagues and are our was close to being up as we saw the mob circled the capitol complex and the first barricade start to dissolve. i remember i looked over and said, i don't think we are leaving. i don't think we are going to leave after this hour. it doesn't seem like it's going to be safe for us to go back to our offices. of course i didn't realize the extent to which that would be true, exactly what would happen. but in the minutes that followed , this thing started to move rapidly. we became aware of how grave a situation it was. >> walk us through those
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minutes. what happens next? rep. crow: what happened was we saw the barricades start to break down. i was watching on my phone as the rioters reached that and the police started to move in and try to close the barricade and establish a perimeter around the capitol itself. the first happen was security came in and removed the speaker from the dais and took the majority leader and minority leader and minority whip off the floor. that's when i realized they were starting to take extra security precautions and that things were getting out of hand. >> how did that look from your perspective up in the gallery, the speaker being whisked away, what were you thinking?
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rep. crow: i started to get nervous. that was the first point at which i realized that the security officials had assessed that it wasn't safe for us to be in there and they were starting to remove the people they were responsible for protecting. but i still had some confidence that they were able to secure the capitol complex, but that confidence rapidly eroded. the next thing i saw was the notification by officers to get our gas masks on. they told us that there were rioters that had breached the capital, that had made it into the capitol complex and that they were going to deploy teargas and to get -- reach under our seats and get the gas masks out. at that point i realized they were losing control, the situation was turning into chaos.
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so the members both in the gallery and the house for reached under emery getting there gas masks out. this is something i have done hundreds of times in the military and training, but most of my colleagues had never done it. i was helping them open up the containers and go through the packaging and show them how to get the masks prepared and how to put it on. but i tell them, don't put it on until we are instructed or until i smell teargas. i knew that if you put the mask on, you could pass out if you are wearing it for too long or hyperventilating. so what i said was, just get it ready and i showed many of them how to get it ready. i tell them that if i smelled teargas, i would tell them to put it on, but until then, just to have it prepared. >> what are the conversations like? what are the colleagues to -- colleagues saying? rep. crow: i could see the
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anxiety and i was feeling that anxiety myself in my colleagues eyes and in their voices. the police started to evacuate the members on the floor. i remember my friend and colleague from colorado yelled down, what about us? they were evacuating the members on the floor and it didn't seem like they were even aware that we were up there. there were about two dozen members up in the gallery but the focus was on the members on the floor. someone yelled out, this is because of you, he yelled to the republicans, that this is happening because of you. so there was a lot of tension, a lot of your and anxiety, people getting there gas masks ready.
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it became apparent by conversations with police but also looking at my phone that the mob was starting to encircle the house chamber. what i saw next was actually the most shocking, one of the most shocking things i have ever seen. >> what happened next? rep. crow: i looked up, this was after they had evacuated the house floor. there were no members on the floor. a few members remained behind, markwayne mullin and a few others, but most of the members had evacuated the floor. i looked up and i saw the capitol police locking the doors and starting to barricade the doors. and we were still in there. that's when i realized that there was no plan anymore, they had lost complete control and that we were in really deep trouble. so they were locking us into the chamber. i saw the police scrambling for
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whatever furniture they could grab and start stacking it against the main door in the forward chamber. so i immediately reverted into ranger mode. i made a decision to call my wife. i took my phone out and called my wife and told her that i loved her, that we were surrounded and we would have to make a stand in the gallery or potentially finer way out, and to tell the kids that i love them. i remember what she said to me, we've been together for a very long time, and she told me that i'm a husband now and a father and i have obligations to the family and that i shouldn't try to be a hero or do anything that would put me in jeopardy. so we finished that call, i hung up, and as soon as i hung up a
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kind of got into combat mode and started to go through a mental checklist of what i needed to do. >> and what was that mental checklist? rep. crow: first was to try to secure the perimeter. i asked some of the other members should check on the doors that i couldn't get to. there were more doors than there were police officers in the chamber. the second was to try to get the members together, try to get us into a small group and get us to a defensive position because if we had to fight, you want to make sure you are together in a tight group. i recommended to members that we all take our pins off so we were not identified as high value targets. so they would not be able to see that we were members. i help folks make sure they had
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shoes off if they needed to sprint, they were leaving their backpacks behind if they needed to. then i started to coordinate with the police officers on the scene and tell them, number one, that they had to communicate to their commanders that there were members chapter in the -- trapped in the gallery. i was pretty sure they didn't know we were there, so they had to let them know there were members in the gallery and try to get a sins from them as to where the mob was or whether we were completely encircled. around that time i heard the gunshot, from the speakers lobby so i knew there was violent force being used. i heard banging that i thought was either gunshots or furniture coming from various parts of the gallery and also started to hear the mob trying to ram down the barricades, breaking the glass and trying to make it through the doors as well. >> what are your colleagues
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saying to you, what is their reaction? rep. crow: fear, a lot of expletives, a lot of people raking calls to family, facetiming with family, having those calls. i saw my colleague susan in great distress after she had talked to her son. i just want to let her know that i was there and i would not let harm come to her, that we would be able to get through this. we were consoling each other and of course we were all very anxious and fearful what was going to happen. several of us were getting ready to fight. i try to find any weapon that i could. the seats are bolted down to the floor, so the only thing i had was the pen in my pocket which i would have used if i had to.
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>> what were you thinking -- rep. crow: i was thinking that i would probably have to fight my way out. >> going back to your army ranger days, you are thinking i have to fight my way out. rep. crow: of course i was scared. if you are not, there is probably something wrong, or you don't realize the magnitude of the situation. there was a point where i was going to ask one of the officers for his firearm. i know i'm capable of doing what is necessary to protect myself and protect others. but i didn't know whether the officers were.
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my experience in combat is you never know who is willing to pull that trigger and know what is necessary, but i knew that i could. i was thinking of asking the officer for his firearm, but i decided not to. i'm a very different person now than i was when i was arrange a payment i'm a father, husband, a member of congress. i thought i had left that life behind me, that i had changed. i never thought it would converge again, that i would be in a position of having to think like that and potentially act like that, certainly not a member of congress in 2021 in the house chamber at the capitol , but that something i will have to deal with in the months and years ahead. >> you were going to use a pen as a weapon?
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how can a pen be a weapon? rep. crow: you can do what you have to do with whatever you have available. if i need to ask one of those officers for his gun, i still would have done that. but i would've done what i needed to do to make sure that we got out of that alive, and i was going to protect my colleagues. i was not going to allow the house chamber to be taken over. i would not let that mob derail our democracy and hurt my colleagues. >> take us forward now to what happened after you'd given them direction, you are ready to fight if you need to. how does this get resolved? rep. crow: i was communicating with officers to tell them we were trapped in the chamber. eventually they said there was a
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reaction force that would, and get us out. what appeared to be a swat team was able to push their way through the riot and clear a path. they were communicating via radio that the team was on the others out of the doors, so we opened up the doors and started to move out in small groups. a series of three or four groups at a time. there were about a dozen journalists and the officers. at the same time i was coordinating with the members that were on the house floor and they were telling us to all get out. i remember talking to markwayne mullin and i told him that he needed to get out too. if he was staying behind, that would jeopardize the officer safety as well. those offers would have had to stay there as well to protect him. i knew the mob was far bigger than anybody could handle, so everybody needed to get out to
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protect those officers as well. so eventually everybody got out. i stayed behind to make sure all civilians were out and is soon as the last journalist member was out i followed behind and we all made it to the secure location. >> new jersey democrat tom malinowski was sitting nearby on january 6. rep. malinowski: i wanted to be present for what i thought would be a very important but ceremonial event, the recognition, official recognition by the u.s. congress of the outcome of the presidential election, a critical ritual in the constitutional system. i knew that there were demonstrations planned, and i knew who was doing the demonstrating and that these were dangerous people, but i have to say i was very confident
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that the capitol was secure, like many of us, i felt there must be more security here that we are not seeing. as the meeting progressed we knew that the people gathering outside -- a couple of times actually i stepped out of the chamber with my friend and colleague, dean phillips of minnesota. we went to some of the windows to just get a view of what was happening outside. i remember reassuring him, when he pointed out how many potential intrusions or work. i remember saying to him and others when we got back to our seats that we shouldn't worry, this place is a fortress. and the capitol police are well
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equipped and able to handle whatever is going to be thrown out on us. and then, of course, none of that turned out to be true. through no fault of the capitol police, in retrospect, they did everything they could have and they made the right calls under extreme pressure. but of course we know what happened next. my experience of it was very different from those watching on television at home. in fact, in some respects, those of us in the chamber knew less than people who were watching around the world because we couldn't see beyond the walls of the chamber. we saw at one point speaker pelosi's security detail whisk her out of the chamber. that was the signal that
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something was going on. >> do you remember if you said anything to your colleagues or think anything when you saw her leave? rep. malinowski: at this point i was quite angry. i didn't yet realize how bad it was going to be, but i remember feeling quite angry. thinking that there was a clear connection between some of the words that were being spoken on the floor of the house, challenging the legitimacy of a clearly legitimate election and what was happening outside of the building. there was a moment in which dean phillips, who is a very mild-mannered, pleasant person, just shouted out, you did this,
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to our republican colleagues on the floor of the house who were leading the charge to decertify. this is because of you, he said. rep. malinowski: i agreed with him. in some ways he would have been the last person i would have expected, because he is someone with very strong friendships on both sides of the aisle, and a very calm personality, slow to anger, as they said.
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and then things developed from their. we were getting very incomplete and contradictory information about the security situation. at a certain point, the proceeding stopped. we heard from the sergeant at arms that we need to take out our gas masks which are found underneath the seats in the house. most people didn't know how to use the gas masks, they didn't understand whether we were supposed to use them or simply take them out. [indiscernible] rep. malinowski: we saw capitol police officers racing back and forth to try to secure the doors to the chamber and then heard
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that they didn't have the keys to lock the doors. it was very clear at that point that nobody really knew what was happening or what to do. then a couple of us moved from our seats on the far left of the democratic side of the balcony to closer to the center. i reasoned at that point that if the rioters were to break in, they would more likely break in on proximity to an external exit, so i wanted to get further away from the entrance that i thought was most likely to be breached. the gas masks make a sound, a kind of hissing, siren type of sound when they are turned on, they have a battery that helps
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the circulation of the air, and so at a certain point there are dozens and dozens of masks making the siren sound which contributed to an atmosphere of tension. at one point the house chaplain stood up at the podium on the house floor and started praying, which was a good example of a wonderful person doing her job. but in a way that also contributed to an atmosphere of impending doom. and then one of the capitol police officers motioned to some of us to exit by the door on what we think of as the republican side, the right hand side of the house chamber.
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so some of us exited through that door, got on an elevator, someone on the elevator pressed the wrong button, which took us down to the most dangerous floor, actually, rather than to the subbasement. we were heading for the underground tunnel leading to the rayburn building but got off on the wrong for because somebody pressed the wrong button, and then took the stairs from there. we did not come face-to-face with the rioters, although i think reconstructing it, we left at precisely the moment when the gunshots were fired outside, or through the speakers lobby. >> as you and your colleagues are traveling in that elevator and then making your way down the stairs, do you remember what was being said or what you were thinking? rep. malinowski: i was thinking,
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stay alert, stain control, think of the people around you, make sure no one is straggling, make sure everyone is going in the same direction. at this point, again, we do not see what people watching television see, and certainly not the images that we have since seen of the extreme violence outside us is great police officers try to hold these people off. we just knew that there had been a breach, there were rioters inside the building and it wasn't safe and we needed to get everybody out of there. so i was thinking, where should we go? we had no guidance apart from one police officer who was clearly improvising, and let me
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make sure that everybody i can see is heading in that direction. >> you had one police officer, not being told by anybody higher up than him or her where to take you? rep. malinowski: he was in radio communication with others, but the plan of where to take us was clearly being improvised. so his thought was take us to the rayburn building cafeteria. so that's where we headed, we went through the tunnel, paused at the rayburn end of the title. for more confused deliberation among police officers, proceeded to the rayburn cafeteria. that did not seem safe, i instantly felt that that was not
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the place where we should be. at this point, there are two or three dozen members of congress in our group, one police officer and then i believe the officer or somebody else got word that there was a larger convening in the ways and means committee hearing room, which ended up the place where everybody who had been in the chamber gathered. so we then proceeded there, again without incident, and spent the rest of the afternoon waiting there. >> are there any disagreements happening among you and your colleagues or others at this time? rep. malinowski: not as we were in transit, no. >> but at other times there were? rep. malinowski: i think most of
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the people who ended up gathering in the long worth hearing room in that ways and means committee hearing room were of a single mind, and there were republicans there as well as democrats. congresswoman liz cheney was there and there was a group that some of us refer to as the qanon caucus kind of huddled in the corner of the room. there were some disagreements about wearing masks, but i think most of the people in that room shared a sense of the tragedy of what had just happened. and most important, a determination to go back and finish the job. the moment i got into the ways and means room, that's all i
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could think about. whatever just happened, you have to get back in there. the moment it is clear, the moment it is reasonably safe, 100% safe, not normal circumstances, capitol police double and triple checking that nothing could possibly ever happened to someone safe, but like reasonable for a crisis safe. we need to go back without a moments delay and finish the certification of the election, because otherwise, these guys have won. they didn't -- even if they delayed us for one night because we went home, that would be a victory. the most important thing was to show the world that the united states congress cannot be
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intimidated and that the united states constitution cannot be undermined by a mob. >> shortly after 3:30 in the morning on january 7, lawmakers certified the results of the 2020 presidential election. >> the number of electors is538 . the boats president of the united states are as follows. joseph r biden junior of the state of delaware has received 306 boats. donald j. trump of the state of florida has received 232 boats. the whole number of electors appointed to vote for vice president of the united states is 538. a majority is 270. the boats for vice president are as follows.
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kamala harris has received 306 boats. michael r. pence has received 232 boats. the purpose of the joint session having concluded, the chair declares the joint session dissolved. [applause]
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experience on the january 6 on the u.s. capitol. ♪ susan: michelle singletary has a new book, "

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