Representative Tony Gonzales, Republican of Texas and a former Navy officer who voted to uphold the election, recounted to a local television station how he and other freshmen had tried to barricade the doors to the House chamber as the mob grew closer to reaching them.
Capitol Riot Fallout
“Wow, wouldn’t this be something,” Mr. Gonzales recalled thinking. “I fight in Iraq and Afghanistan just to be killed in the House of Representatives.”
“I was so distraught and distressed,” Ms. Mace said in an interview the day after the riot. “I woke up more heartbroken today than I was yesterday. More shocked, but also angrier than I was before. Pissed off that we allowed this to happen.”
In an interview, Mr. Meijer recalled a conversation he had with a Republican colleague who believed voting to certify the election was the right thing to do, but feared that making such a move would endanger family members’ safety. Mr. Meijer described watching the lawmaker glued to one spot on the House floor for minutes, voting card in hand, contemplating what to do. The lawmaker eventually voted to overturn the election.
“It just broke my heart,” Mr. Meijer said.
The vote, he said, instantly drew a clear “fault line” through the conference: between those who voted to uphold the election, and those who “knew what the most expedient vote was.”
That fault line has extended through the conference’s leadership. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican, announced on Tuesday that she would vote to impeach Mr. Trump, becoming only the second House Republican to do so and the first member of leadership to make such an announcement. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, and Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the minority whip, both voted to overturn the election results.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Ms. Cheney said in a statement.
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