Salud Carbajal is the U.S. Representative from California’s 24th congressional district. In a phone call late last night from his office in Washington, he gave me this firsthand account.
“Due to the Covid virus, most members were in their offices when protestors were marching toward the Capitol. Only those Senators or House members that had a direct role in the early part of the proceedings were allowed in both chambers.
“At about 1:30pm, the first objections to the Arizona electoral votes were made in the House, submitted in writing with the support of at least one Senator. The session went into recess. The House and Senate then spent 2 hours in debate.
“It was at this time,” Carbajal said, “that the protests escalated, and this lawless mob breached the Capitol building, breaking windows, doors.”
From his office window, Carbajal said that “the majority of the crowd focused on the Capitol building. “Only a few people were in the streets around the House and Senate buildings.
“We were instructed to stay in our offices and monitor the proceedings before going to the House chamber when the vote was called.”
Trump began with a rally near the White House where he whipped supporters into a frenzy. “You will never take back our country with weakness.” Labeling the election as an “egregious assault on our democracy,” he instructed the crowd to “walk down to the Capitol.”
The consequences soon became clear.
“Capitol police didn’t anticipate the crowd’s behavior,” Carbajal said. “The National Guard was called in and the building was secured before any of us were allowed inside.
“Not long after, police found pipe bombs and a car full of Molotov cocktails. In another two or three hours, National Guardsmen secured the area.
“These attacks were an audacious, disgraceful attempt at a coup to overturn a fair and secure election that was certified in all states.”
The Representative from the California coast emphasized, “time and time again, this president, has proven that he will go to any lengths to provoke supporters to aggressively march and protest what he continues to falsely claim as a ‘stolen’ election.”
In a statement posted on his website, Carbajal said, “intimidation tactics will not deter Congress from doing its job. We will return to the House Floor tonight to fulfill our constitutional duty to certify the election and send the duly elected President-Elect Joe Biden to the White House.
“Democracy will prevail.”