Three years ago today, I witnessed rioters breaking through police lines to violently force their way into the U.S. Capitol. These same rioters would go on to attack and injure a number of U.S Capitol Police officers. Instigated and directed by former President Trump, more than two thousand rioters entered the Capitol.
These insurrectionists had one goal: to accomplish through force what they failed to achieve at the ballot box, but they were no match for the bravery of the U.S. Capitol Police officers, D.C. Metro Police officers, National Guardsmen, and Capitol staff who defended our democracy that day.
The January 6th insurrection will always haunt me. It was a dark day in our country’s history, and its architects must be held accountable. Still, as we commit to this continuing work, we also need to lift up the lessons and legacy of January 7th.
In the early hours of January 7th – with chants of rioters still audible in the distance, injured officers still being treated, and the chaos of ransacked offices and defiled hallways along our path – my colleagues and I returned to the Senate floor to certify the 2020 presidential election results.
Our democracy, our country, and our fundamental right as Americans to vote for our leaders in free and fair elections require constant vigilance, bravery, and a dogged commitment to put principles before politics.
In the United States of America, we stand for freedom and democracy. The power of our presidency is earned, and our elections are determined at the ballot box.
I hope you will join me in the ongoing work to uphold the values we hold so dear.