NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Some Tennessee lawmakers had to shelter in place as protestors invaded the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
Congress was meeting to certify the electoral college votes, which will officially make Joe Biden the next U.S. President.
However, President Trump and some of his supporters say the election was “stolen.” They stormed the Capitol to make their point.
Democratic Congressman, Jim Cooper, who represents Nashville and the state’s 5th district described what it was like as the protestors entered the building.
“They started breaking windows in the Capitol, busting down doors, you’ve seen them on the senate floor,” Cooper said. “They were behaving unconstitutionally. The constitution asks us, it demands us, to count votes today and that could not happen.”
Congress reconvened later on Wednesday evening once law enforcement cleared the protestors from inside the Capitol.
Republican Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, who represents East Tennessee, recalled seeing Capitol police running through the halls.
“It’s a very difficult and tumultuous day with emotions flaring and a day in which members are here with their staffs doing their jobs. As we speak, I can hear the emergency vehicles very loudly outside,” Fleischmann said.
Representative Cooper called it “one of the saddest days in American history.”
“I love peaceful protests, but violent protests have no place. The pictures of the Capitol besieged can only make our enemies around the world happy. The communist Chinese, the Russians, the Iranians, the North Koreans are loving what happened today,” Cooper said. “It’s one thing to be attacked by a foreign power, it’s another to have your own fellow Americans do such damage to our Capitol and to our democracy. This is one of the saddest days in American history and I’m just so sorry it’s happening during our lifetimes.”
Tennessee lawmakers on both sides of the aisle condemned the violence in D.C.
Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeting: “To the protestors that have breached the Capitol building: you are disrupting the democratic process. You should be ashamed of yourself. This is violence. This is a crime. It must stop.”
Republican Congressman Scott DesJarlais telling News 2 that things got out of hand on Capitol Hill.
“It’s been a sad day. It’s not what anybody wanted to see. I talked to a number of people who traveled here from different states to have their voices heard and they’re all disappointed. It’s one of those situations where you sometimes get too many people together. There’s some people that go beyond where they should. We saw that happen in Nashville with the riots, and unfortunately we saw that escalate today beyond what anybody would’ve wanted,” DesJarlais said.
“It’s a scary time. This should not happen in any civilized country and it certainly should not happen in America,” Cooper said.