Lawmakers express fears about Capitol safety while tensions grow over new security measures

I didn’t know if I would live long enough to see the end of this day, New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday on Instagram Live. It’s not an exaggeration to say that many, many members of the House were almost killed.

But with a week to go before the inauguration, all security efforts were focused on pre-planning, leaving little opportunity for investigations to look back and decipher how security was breached and what went wrong.

Colorado Republican Lauren Bibert, who had previously bragged about her desire to carry a gun on Capitol Hill and was accused of betraying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s position in a raid last week, was involved in a standoff with Capitol Police over newly installed metal detectors when she tried to visit the field Tuesday night.

Clearly, metal detectors would not have prevented the violence we saw; this political coup does nothing to improve the safety of members of the Capitol complex, Beubert said in a statement to CNN after the battle.

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GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma and Steve Womack of Arkansas yelled at Capitol Hill police when they were forced through metal detectors. Womack yelled, I was physically restrained, and Mullin said it was my constitutional right and they couldn’t stop me.

Pelosi on Wednesday proposed a new rule with stiff fines for members who refuse to follow the new safety rules. The penalties, which are deducted from members’ salaries, are $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for a second offense.

Tragically, the move is necessary, but people’s homes must and will be safe, Pelosi said in a statement.

But even some Democrats aren’t happy with the increased security, saying it has led to longer queues and forced members to stay within two feet of each other.

I’d rather die of covid because I got it from a colleague than die because a colleague is shooting at me, Pastor Philemon Vela, a Democrat from Texas, told CNN.

Distrust in safety

While the work of Capitol Police and law enforcement has been critical in eliminating the Capitol threat, videos of police officers wearing MAGA hats and suicide demonstrations with rioters have raised deeper concerns about the sanctity of the police force.

There were these acts of heroism, but alongside them were attacks of treason, Ocasio-Cortez said. And running around the nation’s capital without knowing if there’s a cop there to help or hurt you is also pretty traumatic.

Democratic Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana also explained how law enforcement let him down when he learned from press reports of court proceedings that a man accused of bringing bombs and an arsenal to Capitol Hill was targeted last week. Prosecutors found Carson’s name on a handwritten note from Lonnie Leroy Coffman, whose truck was parked outside the Capitol for several hours last Wednesday and contained weapons and bombs. Next to Carson’s name is a note, one of two Muslims in the House of Representatives. Carson is a Muslim.

It is extremely disturbing that press reports indicate that I was one of the many people listed as one of the good guys and bad guys targeted by the attacks, Carson said in a statement provided to CNN. As a former law enforcement officer, it is particularly disappointing that law enforcement officials, including the U.S. Capitol Police, did not inform people like me that we were being targeted by the accused terrorist and his co-conspirators and that they were putting us at risk.

Still little information from the survey

While all eyes are on preparations for the inauguration, little has been said about the ongoing investigation into the intelligence misappropriation that led to the Sixth Amendment. The month of January was marked by knowledge, giving members a chance to propose their own theories about what was happening.

Journalist Mickey Sherrill said live on Facebook on Tuesday that she believes members of Congress staged a riot around the Capitol the day before the violent attack.

I have the scouts from the fifth. January saw the next day, the New Jersey Democrat said. The congressmen who instigated this noisy mob. Members of Congress who tried to help our president are undermining our democracy. I will make sure they are prosecuted and, if necessary, I will make sure they are not in Congress.

After her remarks, Sherrill told reporters on Capitol Hill that she asked for an investigation into the allegations.

We are calling for an investigation by certain authorities, Sherrill said Wednesday.

Until more details are known about what happened, participants continue to publicly express their displeasure with the investigation.

Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois, who was among party members who tested positive for Covid after taking cover Wednesday when rebels captured Capitol Hill, told CNN he was extremely disappointed by the lack of information from Capitol police about what went wrong and what changes would be made as a result of the uprising.

I am disappointed, very disappointed that we had these briefings not only for ourselves but for the American people. What happened, where did it happen, what do we know, what do we learn from it, we’re getting more information, from the local raid, than we were getting, Schneider said.

I have participated in talks and reports within the Democratic Caucasus. We didn’t do a full briefing. We can’t do secret briefings, at least I can’t, I don’t have the technology to attend secret briefings, so I haven’t been.

A senior Democratic aide echoed CNN, for every suspicious package on the Hill I receive 10 emails in real time. Second, when it comes to the biggest security breach in recent memory, we hear little.

This story was updated Wednesday with additional events.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled Mickey Sherrill’s last name.

CNN’s Daniella Diaz and Manu Raju contributed to this report.

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