As more evidence emerges from the riot at the Capitol, multiple House Democrats have come forward to ask whether their own colleagues may have been involved.
At least five House Democrats have said that evidence suggests both Capitol Police and Republican members of Congress may have aided and abetted the terror attack on Jan. 6, in which a pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol as they tried to stop President-elect Joe Biden from being certified the winner of the 2020 election.
The comments from the Democratic lawmakers are chilling and come after those lawmakers have received private briefings from Capitol Police about the attack — which law enforcement was woefully unprepared for.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) made the most pointed accusation about Republican members of Congress possibly being involved in the attack. Sherrill, a retired Navy helicopter pilot who became a federal prosecutor after leaving the military, said in a Tuesday night video:
... Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material, I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 — a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy; I'm going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don't serve in Congress.
Rep. Val Demmings (D-FL), who served as chief of the Orlando Police Department before being elected to Congress, also suggested there may have been inside help, either from the Capitol Police or others.
Demmings said on CNN on Wednesday morning:
Obviously this was a well-planned, well-coordinated breach of security, attack on our capital, and I do believe when we look at how the attackers were able to, they knew where they were going in many instances they knew directly where they were going, and I know many members of Congress get lost in the Capitol, and so I do believe there was some inside assistance. We know that there are officers that are being investigated, and others.
Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley's chief of staff told the Boston Globe, "Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit," suggesting something untoward had gone on.
And last week, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) suggested the attackers may have had help from within the building.
Clyburn said in an interview on SiriusXM on Jan. 8:
And the one place where my name is on a door, that office is right on Statuary Hall. They didn't touch that door. But they went into that other place where I do most of my work, they showed up up there. Harassing my staff. How did they know to go there? … How they didn't go where my name was? Then where you won't find my name, but they found where I was supposed to be. So something else is going on untoward here. So we need to have an extensive investigation to find out.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said in an Instagram live video on Tuesday night that she does not feel safe around Republican members of Congress because she fears they, "would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera."
Some House Democrats are worried that their colleagues from across the aisle pose a danger.
An unnamed Democratic lawmaker told HuffPost that there is an "eyes-wide-open realization" that there must be precautions taken against "all these members who were in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns."
"You can't just let them bypass security and walk right up to [Joe] Biden and [Kamala] Harris at inauguration," the unnamed lawmaker told HuffPost's Matt Fuller.
It's possibly why metal detectors were installed outside the House floor — machines that Republican lawmakers are blatantly refusing to use, ignoring orders from Capitol Police.
With each day, more video evidence emerges depicting acts of violence at the Capitol.
Video has captured rioters chanting that they wanted to hang Vice President Mike Pence, and a platform with a noose was erected outside of the Capitol building.
Another video shows rioters plotting where to go within the building, including a discussion of floor plans and where to go to "take the building."
Law enforcement officers say they are using the video and photos from that day to find and arrest the perpetrators.
To date, five people, including one Capitol Police officer and four pro-Trump rioters, have died from the attack.
Democratic lawmakers have made moves to try to expel congressional Republicans who helped incite the violence as well as those who voted to invalidate Biden's win.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.