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'Chaos was breaking out': Rep. Maloney's view of Capitol violence

·Washington Correspondent
·2 min read

On Wednesday afternoon, Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York was watching the debate to finalize Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States when everything changed.

“We are doing our work, we were debating,” she told Yahoo Finance during a telephone interview Wednesday evening while locked in her Capitol Hill office as first responders continued to root out pro-Trump rioters.

The violence, during which one person was fatally shot, began when President Donald Trump directed the crowd to march to the Capitol to protest on behalf of his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. Hundreds of pro-Trump rioters followed his lead and briefly overran the building.

Maloney, chairperson of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, watched the events unfold in real-time.

“Chaos was breaking out on the floor,” Maloney recounted. “It was disturbing to see desks pushed up against the doors to keep [rioters] out.”

“It's beyond belief and devastatingly disruptive, and I've never been so upset,” she added.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol's Rotunda as reported tear gas smoke fills a corridor on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Supporters of President Trump enter the US Capitol's Rotunda as reported tear gas smoke fills a corridor. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Her office is across the street from the Capitol and, as such, she was also able to view the hours of response directly from her office once she was she sheltered in place.

“There have been sort of groups of police officers moving into the Capitol, sort of moving in precision. Say roughly 30 at a time,” she said. “There was a lot of smoke coming out from the Capitol. I don't know what that was or where it came from.”

“Since 9/11, I've participated in many Capitol Hill security drills that involve shelter-in-place and donning protective gear, but I never dreamed I'd have to do it for real because of terrorism inspired by the President of the United States,” Maloney said.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30:  Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) delivers her opening statement at a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on September 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. The current and former executives of three major drug companies were to testify on the high cost in the U.S. of prescription drugs.  (Photo by Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is the Chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. (Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi later announced her plan to “proceed [with the vote] tonight at the Capitol once it is cleared for use.”

Maloney, whose district includes parts of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, supported the plan, noting, “We came to work today knowing that we would stay here until the proceedings ended.”


Ben Werschkul is a writer and producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.

Read more:

Amid Capitol violence, Facebook, YouTube remove Trump video

U.S. business group urges officials to consider quick removal of Trump

1 shot dead, Congress evacuated, National Guard activated after pro-Trump rioters storm Capitol

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