PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Rep. Kurt Schrader said Americans and Oregonians should know one thing about what happened in the Nation’s Capital on Wednesday: “It was supposed to look be a reflection on the peaceful transition of power. … It was supposed to be a very carefully choreographed process. Only members who were scheduled to speak were supposed to be on the floor, trying to still respect the social distancing issue with COVID.”
He was in his office following the proceedings when security officials told him — and everyone else — to “secure in place.”
He said the security issues began “when they found evidence that a potential bomb was placed between the Madison building and Cannon, one of the office buildings on the House side. That got our attention,” Schrader said. “Then more reports that there was a bomb in the Republican Capitol Club right next to Cannon and then potentially worried that there would be one at the Democratic Club down the street. Then it got to be pretty serious.”
His intial reaction was “profound disappointment at what was supposed to be a peaceful protest had devolved into some terrorists trying to invade the Capitol of the United States, breaking windows, bashing through doors, pushing the police. The so-called law-and-order party pushing police around, just total disregard for our democratic processes.
“That was my initial reaction. I thought, ‘My God, what the hell is going on here?'”
He stayed there and watched what was happening on television.
The police response
“Thank God, the police, after they screwed up to begin with, seemed to get things in hand and they came through the hallways to check and make sure folks were OK.”
Schrader said the Capitol Police were spread pretty thin.
“When the protesters started to push against the police at the Capitol and come up the steps of the capitol rather than deploying tear gas at that point — which in my opinion they should have done to keep them away from the Capitol of the United States of America — they had to fall back and they did not call in the other folks from around that large perimeter that they had to help support them. And eventually they were completely overwhelmed.”
Asked if he thought the Capitol Police would have had a similar response if it had been left-wing protesters, Schrader was blunt.
“I think they would have approached it in the same inept way, if I may say so,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I don’t think they would have been prepared for the left-wing storming the Capitol anymore than they are the right-wing storming the Capitol at all because of righteous indignation.”
‘They have no clue what a true patriot’s all about’
He said it seemed the rioters end game was merely to disrupt the proceedings.
“I don’t think it was well thought out. It was mob, a bunch of rioters and terrorists that broke away from what was a peaceful protest and decided they weren’t getting what they wanted. They wanted to go in and disrupt the proceedings that Republicans and Democrats together had agreed would occur, to reflect the different opinions of our country that were going to be heard on the floor and that was not good enough for these people who don’t understand that this is not mob rule. This is not a dictatorship. This is a democratic process that people have a discussion, you have an election, the results matter, and then you go forward from there. And there’s always going to be another election. If you don’t feel your voice was heard as loudly as you want you get another chance 2 to 4 years later to do it again.
“They do not understand what this country’s about. It’s sad. For all their so-called patriotic fervor they have no clue what a true patriot’s all about. They’re righteously indignant about the BLM protests that got taken over by the terrorists in Portland. And they don’t see they’re doing exactly the same thing. It is sad. It’s so obvious you’re being just like these other people you condemned.”
Let Trump go ‘back to whatever place he crawled out of’
Kurt Schrader said “it’s ridiculous” to think about impeaching Donald Trump again right now since he will be out of office in 2 weeks.
“He’s destroyed his credibility completely in the United States Capitol even with most of the Republicans at this point,” Schrader said. “He is a shadow of what he was coming in and I think just let’s just do our job — certify the election, move President Biden into the office and let this guy go back to whatever place he crawled out of.”
As for what’s next, Schrader has advice for disappointed Trump supporters.
“Get over yourself. You know, heck, I was disappointed when Trump got elected 4 years ago but I didn’t storm the damn Capitol or break windows or make outrageous statements about fraud. I accepted the election results.
“Let’s just all of America do the same here.”