Democratic Sen. Patty Murray hid just “inches away” as violent rioters descended upon the US Capitol on January 6, pounding on the door to the office where she sheltered in place with her husband.
“It wasn’t long before I heard explosions,” the Washington senator told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in an interview Friday. “I heard yelling, and all of a sudden they were in the hallway outside my door. I was inches away, alone with my husband, who was with me at the time, and we were really frightened.”
“They were pounding on our door and trying to open it. And my husband sat with his foot against the door, praying that it would not break in,” said Murray, who was emotional and visibly shaken as she recounted her experience that day.
“I was not safe. It was a horrific feeling, and it lasted for a long time.”
The senator shared her experience as former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial continues to unfold in the US Senate. Murray and her colleagues are sitting as jurors to decide whether to convict or acquit Trump on a single impeachment article of inciting the insurrection last month.
As the Pro-Trump mob overtook the Capitol building, Murray said she had heard some of the rioters yell: “Kill the infidels,” and, “We saw them, they’re in one of these rooms.”
“What I remember most vividly is that — I did not know if the door was locked, I mean I go in and out of it, and I couldn’t remember if I locked it. And we had to be quiet. We didn’t want them to know we were in there, where we were,” she said. “And I’m just looking at my husband, and we’re just — eye contact, we can see each other’s eyes, please, please, let this door be locked.”
Murray told Woodruff she’s had a “hard time” speaking about her experience because she doesn’t want the rioters “to ever feel that they had instilled fear in me that kept me from doing what I needed to do.” Members of Congress wanting to move on from the attack are “being instilled by fear and that’s what’s motivating them,” she said.
The senator said Friday she now feels less safe in the US Capitol “because there’s not a bipartisan action on the part of Congress” to say the violence is wrong.
“That is just an overwhelming thought to me today now, as I sit and listen in this trial that what they were trying to do was to kill someone, not all of them for sure, but that was some of them, enough of them,” Murray said. “They wanted to take over our country, take over all of us, using brute force.”