LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Members of the Southland congressional delegation found themselves barricaded in their offices and other locations as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, as Congress prepared to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, was speaking to KNX when he watched tear gas being deployed in the Capitol Rotunda.
“The idea that the Capitol Police would lose control over the entry points, these are entry points that are sometimes guarded with machine guns,” Sherman said. “They take that very seriously. A decision was made to allow the breach rather than use weapons. I hope that decision turns out to be right. I think it will be.”
Patrick Boland, spokesman for Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, declined to comment beyond saying, “Congressman Schiff is safe.”
“I am in a secure location,” Rep Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, wrote on her Twitter page as the Capitol fell under lockdown, halting congressional proceedings. “The president of the United States is inciting a coup. We will not be intimidated. We will not be deterred.”
The unrest began shortly after Trump spoke to hundreds of supporters who gathered in Washington, DC, on the day Congress was set to certify the Nov. 3 election results and proclaim Democrat Joe Biden as the victor.
Trump has vociferously insisted that voter fraud led to his defeat in the election, though his multiple legal challenges in various states have been rejected due to lack of evidence. Officials in states across the country, including the Republican election officials in the battleground state of Georgia, have flatly denied any impropriety in the election.
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, called it “a tragic day in American history as we see Trump-supporting domestic terrorists surround and breach the Capitol building. My staff and I are secured and safe thanks to the courageous actions of the Capitol Police. Praying for the safety of everybody and the very soul of our nation.’’
Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, described the scene on his Twitter account.
“Got stuck in the gallery, which is above the House Floor, for some time because people were trying to get in,” he wrote. “Had to lay on the floor with about 30-50 of my colleagues. With gas mask in hand. But I’m safe.”
Across the country, dozens of Trump supporters rallied in downtown Los Angeles outside City Hall. Holding flags and carrying signs reading “Stop the Steal,” members of the group stood along Spring Street while others circled the area in their vehicles.
Organizers of the event said 15 “patriotic organizations” were taking part in the demonstration “too demand the integrity and justice of the Nov. 3 election.”
The gathering proceeded peacefully for most of the morning, but skirmishes began erupting around midday as counter-protesters gathered nearby. Los Angeles police, who earlier reported that the protest was being held peacefully, began showing up in large numbers.
According to reports from the scene, police declared an unlawful assembly, however, there was no immediate word of any arrests.
The anti-Trump group Refuse Fascism planned to hold a protest of its own in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon. A spokesperson said the group unfurled a banner over the Harbor (110) Freeway at Seventh Street, proclaiming, “Trump Lost! Fascists Get Out!”