Capitol Riot

South Florida Rep. Wasserman Schultz Honors Capitol Police, Reflects on Year-Mark of Insurrection

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz recalls her and two of her staff workers hunkering down in her office on Jan. 6, 2021.

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Inside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, the president, vice president and members of Congress joined to honor the Capitol Police who lost their lives and those who fought off the rioters.

“First on my mind will be honoring our law enforcement and making sure we continue to be supportive of them," South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

Before leaving for the programs at the Capitol, Wasserman Schultz sat down with NBC 6 to reflect on what she saw outside her window that day, what it meant to her then, and what it means now.  

“The events of that day a year ago are seared in my memory,” she said. “We were on lockdown in my office. We looked just outside my window. And I could see the bomb squads.”

Wasserman Schultz and two of her staff workers hunkered down in her office.

"We saw the streaming of the rioters into the Capitol," she said. "Obviously, the Capitol complex is connected by tunnels and the fear that at any moment they could come running through those tunnels, obviously, I have a very recognizable name and I’m recognizable.”

Those storming the Capitol were chanting "hang Mike Pence," but the reality was Wasserman Shultz — the former Chair of the Democratic National Committee — would be a top Democrat they would also be looking to find.

"The battering ram that they were using to try to get to the chamber to get to the members, that was incredibly frightening," she said. "But then subsequently, all the footage we saw all around the Capitol Complex on just how bad it was and how many more people were rioting to get in there, it left my blood cold.”

The congresswoman said that even with the chaos, it was imperative that after nightfall the election be certified.

“We were not going to allow the interruption on the longest-running democracy in the world and especially after an assault on what represents the temple of that democracy." Wasserman Schultz said. "Yes, we were fearful and I thought about the fact that my name is emblazoned on the plate outside my door."

Wasserman Schultz said that she and her team receive threats often but that isn’t going to stop them. She said it's incredibly important that those who participated in and plotted the riot be held accountable by the Justice Department and the committees in Congress conducting their investigations.

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