‘We showed that spectacle to the world’: RI senators reflect on chaos at U.S. Capitol

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Arriving back in Rhode Island after a chaotic day in Washington, Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse reflected on what they experienced at the U.S. Capitol.

“Yesterday we witnessed an unprecedented assault, physical assault, on the Congress and the constitution, inspired and motivated by the President,” said Sen. Reed.

Both men were in hiding along with their colleagues in the Senate after being evacuated from the floor after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building.

“We were trying to understand what was going on, after a while, they brought some televisions in so they could see some of the things,” said Sen. Reed. “I think we felt genuinely secure because we were in a very safe location, with strong police support.”

Senator Whitehouse called the ordeal “sad” and “angering.”

“It was also a day that shamed our country in the eyes of the world,” Sen. Whitehouse said. “The images of our Capitol that we use as an example, as a symbol of American democracy, being swarmed by these people using violence, was one that I hope no one would ever see. And now we have to live with the fact that we showed that spectacle to the world.”

But both senators said everyone was eager and determined to get back and finish the job of certifying the votes.

“We stayed there, we were well protected, and then we were determined, all of us, to go back and finish the job,” said Sen. Reed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are now calling for President Trump to be removed from office. Senator Reed said invoking the 25th amendment is in the hands of Vice President Mike Pence.

“The 25 amendment really begins with the vice president. He has to assemble a cabinet, get a significant number of cabinet members to agree,” Reed explained. “One of the problems with the cabinet today is it’s composed of people who are acting. They’ve been plucked out by Trump because they’re loyal to Trump. That would be a problem.”

When it comes to impeachment, Senator Reed said the House likely won’t move fast enough, but said the evidence is overwhelming.

“I think they’d exercise the excuse of, we’re only days away, and the people have already decided… but I think the predicate for considering these actions is certainly there.”

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