On Jan. 6, U.S. legislators debated the merits of completing a perfunctory certification of the electoral college results in the 2020 presidential election. Shortly after the House and Senate were adjourned to their respective chambers to deliberate, pro-Trump protesters breached the Capitol.
Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Arvada) of Colorado’s 7th district, having been sworn in three days earlier after his latest reelection, was in the Capitol at the time.
“My experience has been one of shock,” Perlmutter said. “I knew that there would be protests. I didn’t expect it to become riots and to have people breach the Capitol.”
He said he didn’t expect to see an event like this happen, although looking back on all of the rhetoric coming from the president and others, whipping everybody up, it might have been predictable.
Perlmutter said it’s a day he thinks will be a turning point, where hopefully the rhetoric is toned down and both sides start getting back to the business of governing.
“We’re in a pandemic, we’re in a recession — we’ve got work to do around here,” he said.
Perlmutter was not in the Capitol building when the protesters broke in, but was in the Capitol Complex. He said he thought Representatives Crow, Neguse, Buck and Boebert were all in the Capitol at the time, and he wasn’t sure about the location of Reps., DeGette and Lamborn. Perlmutter explained that due to Covid precautions, the members had been trying to keep numbers inside the chambers, down.
As for the continuation of the electoral college certification, he said he expected certain Republican members of the House and Senate to continue to fight the results of the electoral college, but in the end, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris would be certified as the winners.
“It’s been litigated and re-litigated, he said. “We will ultimately accept the votes from each state, where Democrats, Republicans, unaffiliated voters, election workers, secretaries of state and county clerks have all done their work. And some of them have been threatened, some have been harassed, and I thank them for their patriotism because the vote is what is key to our country, to our liberty and to our voice.”
Perlmutter said it will take some time to clear out the protesters and sweep the building to ensure everyone’s safety, but he’s confident congress will get back to business.
“It’s been intense. It’s been sad. It’s been shocking, but the Capitol Police managed this well, he said. “But it’s not going to intimidate us — Democrats, Republicans, none of us,” he said.
Regarding newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert siding with the group of legislators trying to prevent the certification of the electoral college results, Perlmutter said there are a lot of areas the Colorado delegation can work together on, citing the Bureau of Land Management, water and other issues specific to the state, but on this issue he disagrees with her.
“I think she’s wrong, but she has a right to speak her opinion,” he said.
Perlmutter’s words were harsher for President Trump. The day after speaking with Colorado Community Media, the congressman called for the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to be invoked, to remove President Trump from office immediately.
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