[Tucson, AZ] – Today, Rep. Kirkpatrick released the following statement remembering one year since the January 6thInsurrection.
“One year ago today, I arrived at my office in Washington, D.C. prepared to debate the electoral college ballots and ultimately confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
What happened that day is not something I would’ve ever expected when coming to work. I knew emotions around the election was high, and the city flooded with Trump supporters. We understood and expected a protest, but I never dreamed that it could manifest into a deadly insurrection in the halls of the United States Congress.
I was in my office with my husband, chief of staff, and legislative director. By late morning, police alerted us to execute our lockdown protocols immediately. In a dark, locked room, with the TV on mute, we watched the escalation occur right outside our building in silence. The crowd stampeded through the barricades, people scaling our sacred building and shattering windows. Our Capitol police outnumbered. It was horrifying. Other than what we saw on TV, we had no idea what they had planned or what we were supposed to do to escape it.
Our family and friends were texting and calling, checking to see if we were safe. Ultimately, we were OK locked away in the office; but the fear and emotions around that day still show up for many of us.
I spent a lot of time trying to understand how this could occur, and I have tried to understand what led up to it. It comes down to this simple fact: President Trump abused his power and betrayed our democracy, and many Republican leaders enabled him to do it.
There is no question President Trump incited the insurrection. President Trump misled his supporters to distrust the electoral process, and Trump turned their fears into conspiracies, and he inspired their anger into action.
It was an assault, not only on the Capitol building but on our democracy.
I now understand how and why it happened; we see it happen in other countries with corrupt leaders and fearful followers. But is that what we want for America?
Thankfully, the insurrection was a failure — the transition of power occurred as the voters wanted. But now, it’s our duty to the Constitution, the country, and our voters, to share the facts of January 6th and hold people accountable. We must protect our democratic system from those who abuse power and hold responsible those who allow such abuses to occur.
I commend our Bipartisan January 6th Commission for their ongoing robust investigation, and I look forward to seeing more facts unfold.
The damage of January 6th, 2021 will not be erased, no matter how hard the Republican party tries. To my colleagues on the other side, one year later and I still must say — step up, speak up, and put your country over party.” – Rep. Kirkpatrick