As the nation’s congressional members were given a briefing today on the damage caused by the violent mob that attacked the United States Capitol last week, new worries emerged.
Before COVID-19, it was possible to go through security and enter the United States Capitol for a tour, to stand beneath the magnificent Capitol rotunda and marvel at the expanse of air, to slowly walk the circular space viewing the magnificent paintings of the founding of our country, to stroll in statuary hall, take a peek into the balcony of the House or Senate and listen to the proceedings. But COVID-19 changed that. Visitors haven’t been allowed.
Which makes what Representative Mikie Sherrill, (D – New Jersey Dist. 11) describes truly alarming.
According to Sherrill, some members of Congress led groups of people through the Capitol Building on a “reconnaissance” tour one day before the riot that laid a deadly siege on the government’s legislative branch. The news has shocked her and her fellow legislators.
Her claim, delivered in a Facebook Live webcast Tuesday evening, was first reported by the North Jersey News. She did not specify which members of the House might have done such a thing. But if this is true, then it would appear that this would be direct aid to the insurrectionists that stormed the Capitol, an offense that would violate the 14th Amendment. Which would mean removal from a legislative position for participating in acts of insurrection or rebellion.
During the Facebook Live, Sherrill said she planned to address why she voted for a resolution to implore Vice President Mike Pence to remove President Donald Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment, and since it wasn’t likely to pass, that she intends to support an article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”
But the most shocking information she offered was that unspecified “groups” (visibly staunch supporters of President Donald Trump) had walked people around, giving them a general “reconnaissance” tour of the Capitol one day ahead of that mob attack. Her use of the term “a reconnaissance,” would appear to reference her prior military service; it refers to an exploratory mission for the purpose of gaining information.
She added, “For all of those who refuse to participate in this democracy, refuse to see power turned over peacefully, who refuse to heed the will of the people,” Sherrill said, “we are now on different sides of this line.”
This news comes as congressional representatives are being told that their budgets will allow them to expense bullet proof vests, and they are the reported targets of increasing social media threats.
Featured image: United States Capitol taken on Sept. 11, 2012. Photo by Jan Wondra.