LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said senators moving to a secure location together in the U.S. Capitol as rioters broke in shared a common thought: “We’re going back and doing our job. They’re not going to stop us.”
Cortez Masto was on the floor of the U.S. Senate when armed protesters breached the building. The senator was about to give a speech about the validity of the election when everything suddenly stopped.
“They asked everybody to stay in their seats,” the senator said about Capitol police. “They secured all the doors. They said, ‘You’re going to be safe here.’ They put Capitol police on all of the doors.”
Outside, rioters broke through doors and windows to enter the complex.
“We could hear all of the commotion,” she said. “We could hear all of the voices and the noises outside.” Then, police moved the senators to a secure location to be held until the building was clear.
“They said, ‘move, move, move,’ and they opened the doors on the other side of the chambers, and they moved all of us out,” Cortez Masto said. “It’s one of those things where your adrenaline is going, you’re hearing all this information, you’re just going and moving. It wasn’t until we got to our secure location, and they started giving us briefings, and then we started to be able to see what was going on around us, because you know, you’re inside, you can’t see how they are breaching the Capitol.”
Cortez Masto shared photos of the aftermath, showing a disheveled and looted office. Her office declined to say which room the photos depict.
Some House Republicans have joined Democrats in calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to ask the president’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. Cortez Masto reiterated President Trump’s term ends in less than two weeks. She said she was waiting to see what the Cabinet and the House do before taking a stance.
“We all have the responsibility to do the right thing — to send the right messages to the public and give reassurances that government is going to hold people accountable to include ourselves,” she said.
Pelosi said if the Cabinet fails to take action, she will move to impeach the president, again. If the Senate were to vote to impeach the president, even after his term is over, he would no longer be able to hold elected office.