Several Congressmen Fought Off Capitol Rioters — and Some of Them Still Went On to Vote with Trump
When a mob of pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists descended on the Capitol building Wednesday, a group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives did what they could to prevent them from entering the chamber.
The rioters, who were incited by Trump at a rally earlier in the day, breached the Capitol building while members of the House and the Senate were in the process of certifying the Electoral College ballots in a joint session of Congress.
Lawmakers including Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) stayed behind to help police bar the mob from getting through the chamber's doors, according to the Washington Post. Reps. Troy Nehls, Pat Fallon, Tony Gonzales, and Ronny Jackson, all Republicans from Texas, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), also remained on the House floor before heading to secure locations.
Nehls was photographed standing by armed police officers trying to prevent the pro-Trump mob from entering the Chamber of the House. On Facebook, Nehls, 52, called the insurrectionists "violent extremists," and said he "stood at the door shoulder to shoulder with Capitol Police attempting to calm the protestors talking to them through the glass."
Fallon, 53, also shared photos on Facebook, showing himself and Nehls in a group trying to prevent the mob from getting through the Chamber door.
"The mob literally reached the doors of the House Chamber and the Police were short handed,” Fallon said on Facebook. “Rep. Tony Gonzalez, Rep Ronny Jackson, Rep Troy Nehls didn’t hesitate!!! We augmented the Police and stood our ground! We will never be intimated by any mob, regardless of their motivations."
When Congress returned to the floor, Nehls, Fallon, Jackson and Mullin voted in favor of challenges to the results in either Arizona or Pennsylvania — a decision in line with the rioters' desire to overturn the election results. Gonzales, Crow, Gallego and Swalwell did not vote in favor of the challenges.
Fallon described using furniture to barricade the doors before people started shouting that shots had been fired and "small pieces of glass went flying."
"Those rounds, if that’s what caused that broken glass would have struck us just seconds before," he said.
Jackson told Texas news station KAMR: "They were doing this on the outside of the door trying to beat the door. They were trying to beat the door down. They were smashing into it. The doors were rocking back and forward and so several of us start immediately stacking furniture in front of the door."
Crow, and Army Ranger veteran, told the Washington Post that he hasn't "felt that way in over 15 years since I was a Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan." Gallego, also a veteran, was photographed standing on a chair to tell his colleagues to head towards the exits.
Nehls, Fallon and Jackson condemned the rioters' actions. "We can disagree and protest but violence is NEVER the answer and must be condemended [sic] in the strongest terms," said Nehls, a retired Army reserve major.
Yet when Congress reconvened to complete the certification process of the Electoral College ballots, they still voted to overturn the results — which is what the pro-Trump mob wanted. Mullin was slower to speak out against the rioters, telling Tulsa World that "no one is to blame here" for the insurrection attempt.
"We are all to blame," he said, naming "the media," Republicans, Democrats, and "those who post the most ridiculous things on social media" as all having some responsibility. Mullin also voted in favor of the objection to the election results.
"You know it’s horrible what happened today, but it does not change my constitutional requirement to represent the people in the 13th Congressional District and to object to the conduct of the election in some of these states that we’re contesting," Jackson said, per KAMR.
Fallon said that his office had been inundated with calls from his constituents asking him to object, Texas Monthly reported.
Ultimately, President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 electoral victory over Trump was certified despite the challenges and riots. Swalwell said Trump “is a clear and present danger to our lives and our democracy.”
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