It’s one thing to watch the events of January 6th play out on television, but for Michigan’s congressional delegation, they were there. They were the target.
“These were clearly not tourists coming to the Capitol,” said Senator Gary Peters. “These were folks that were breaking windows and beating police officers.”
Congress was set to certify the 2020 election. The mob was set to stop them.
“It was happening very fast. There was a lot of confusion but when we got to that secure location you could see on the television screen what was going on all around us in the Capitol,” said Peters. “It was a horrible sight.”
Michigan Senators Peters and Debbie Stabenow were in the Capitol at the time. A year later, the memories remain.
“Although sometimes it feels surreal, at the same time, it just reminds me how close we came to having a violent overthrow the government,” said Stabenow.
9&10 News reached out to the Republican congressmen representing northern Michigan but none were available. Representative John Moolenaar sent this statement.
“The violence at the Capitol last year was a sad moment for our country and those who broke the law should be prosecuted. As Americans we are blessed to live in a free nation and our democracy is stronger when we have the rule of law, election integrity and voter ID.”
That last sentiment inferred the 2020 election lacked integrity, despite it being proven to be free and fair many times. Indeed many republicans have stood by the former president through the past year and Peters says that’s the issue.
“To me it is a dangerous type of rhetoric,” said Peters. “What we saw in this attack on the Capitol is that dangerous rhetoric can lead to violent action.”
The House Select Committee tasked with finding the reasons this happened are getting closer to wrapping up.
“One of the things that is clear and we will know more as the investigation goes forward,” said Stabenow. “But there was clearly those, including the former president, who were really plotting for something to happen.”