U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., said he was briefly trapped in the House of Representatives chambers as rioters tried to break through the doors amid unrest at the U.S Capitol on Wednesday.
Also trapped in the chambers with Crow were three other members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation, the Colorado Sun reported: Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado’s 2nd District, Rep. Ken Buck of eastern Colorado’s 4th District, and Rep. Lauren Boebert of western Colorado’s 3rd District.
“I thought we’d have to fight our way out,” Crow, an Army veteran, told the New York Times, adding that he helped fellow lawmakers put on gas masks as he moved them away from the barricaded door and instructed them to take off the lapel pins that identify House members.
He told the Times he had only a pen to defend himself with. The group was trapped inside the chambers for about 15 minutes until Capitol Police cleared a path for them to exit the room., according to the Times.
Police led the lawmakers out with their guns drawn, Crow told the Times. Some officers barricaded the doors and others “pinned protesters to the ground,” according to the Times, as the lawmakers moved to a secure area.
On Twitter, Crow called the situation a “coup attempt” and vowed to return to the House chambers to finish the job they’d started before a mob of rioters breached the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon.
Crow, who said he’s now being protected in a secure location, was one of several members of Colorado’s congressional delegation who shared updates on their safety and spoke out about the unfolding situation in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday afternoon. The pro-Trump mob tore past law enforcement, halting Congressional proceedings to certify the presidential election results.
Buck, a Republican who recently spoke out against President Donald Trump’s efforts to contest the election results, called the events at the Capitol “anarchy.” He told Savannah Guthrie on NBC that he was safe and hunkered down with some staff members in an office.
“We’re anxious and happy to see the TV so we can see what’s going on at the Capitol,” he said.
He was on the House floor getting ready to speak when a plain clothes officer from Capitol Police came in and escorted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from her chair.
“I hope the rioters understand there will be consequences for what they’ve done,” Buck said.
When asked if he was angry, he said, “I’m absolutely angry. This isn’t the way this country operates. It’s a disgrace and for anyone to tolerate anybody to come in and try to shut down our government is absolutely disgraceful.”
In a joint statement with Buck, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said “an assault on our democratic republic is an assault on all of us who believe in our constitution and what makes our country extraordinary.”
“The alarming scenes that are unfolding in Washington are something you might expect to see in countries far from our shores, not in our nation’s capitol, and certainly not in the hallowed halls or on the floor of Congress,” the statement continued. “We are relieved that Colorado’s federal delegation is safe. We all must step up to protect the institutions of our republic, free and fair elections, and the rule of law.”
Live coverage:Pro-Trump rioters breach Capitol, forcing lockdown
Sen. Michael Bennet also posted on Twitter that he and his staff were safe in a secure location. He wrote “today’s attack on the Capitol and our democracy is dangerous and unacceptable.”
“We need to finish the job of certification as soon as possible to show the world that our democracy is up to this test,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “Our democracy is up to this test.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, a Democrat who represents Fort Collins in the 2nd Congressional District, tweeted that he and his staff were evacuated from the House floor and in a safe location.
“Thank you to all of our brave law enforcement officials for working so hard to protect the Capitol Complex,” Neguse wrote. “Keep the faith.”
Sen. John Hickenlooper is also safe. He said on Twitter that this is “a sad day for our country, but our democracy is stronger than the dangerous attack on the Capitol today.”
U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn and Lauren Boebert were the two members of Colorado’s congressional delegation who said they planned to object to House certification of the election results. Boebert spoke against accepting Arizona’s election results on the House floor before rioters made their way into the building.
“I strongly condemn those individuals that have chosen to incite violence and have put our law enforcement in harm’s way,” Lamborn wrote on Twitter. “Today is supposed to be a day of constitutional debate, not violence. This is not who we are as Americans.”
Boebert tweeted later Wednesday afternoon that she and her staff were safe.
“I support peaceful protests and the rule of law, and denounce all acts of violence,” she wrote. “I am grateful to the Capitol Police for their service. Thank you for keeping us safe.”
Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette shared a photo of herself walking through the Capitol building carrying a gas mask. In a since deleted tweet, she called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
“This isn’t a protest. This is an attempted coup. I never thought we’d see such anarchy spurred by our own president,” DeGette posted on Twitter.
She said lawmakers would return to the floor “as soon as possible to finish certifying the results of the electoral college and declaring Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the next president and vice president of the United States.”
Colorado Democratic Party Chair Morgan Carroll released a statement condemning “the attempted coup and lawless behavior displayed at the U.S. Capitol, carried out by domestic terrorists in the name of Donald Trump.”
“This is the consequence of elected officials and political candidates entertaining harmful disinformation and unfounded conspiracy theories and spreading them to their followers,” Carroll continued.
Reporter Pat Ferrier contributed to this story.
Jacy Marmaduke covers government accountability for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @jacymarmaduke. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.