(CBS4)– Several members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation were inside the U.S. House when pro-Trump rioters breeched the U.S. Capitol.
“There was a 15-20 minute window where we had no way out. We were surrounded,” said Congressman Jason Crow who was trapped in the gallery as, he says, anarchists rammed the door trying to gain entry.
“The Capitol police closed the doors, they locked them, and actually started to barricade the doors and windows with furniture, pulled their guns out and were getting ready to defend us in the chamber.”
On the floor of the House, lawmakers were rushed out a back door and into tunnels.
“We were told to put gas masks on because the Capitol had been breached and there was tear gas in the Capitol,” said Congressman Ken Buck.
He says he was among a handful who stayed behind to help police stave off the mob.
“We helped the police put heavy objects like credenzas and heavy furniture in front of those doors… If some people had broken through there were only about 20-25 officers there and there were a lot of women members and older members that needed to get out of there first.”
Congressman Ed Perlmutter, who was not on the floor at the time, was shocked when he got word, “I got to be honest, I didn’t expect Americans to do something like this.”
He blames President Trump, “I think President Trump raised the temperature with all his different rhetoric and by not accepting the will of the people… I think folks are going to realize that your words matter, that following the Constitution matters, that honesty matters, that your vote matters.”
Crow says Trump alone isn’t to blame, “He’s been allowed to bring us to this point because people around him have enabled him, whether it’s members of Congress or his senior advisory circle. They also bare blame for inciting this violence.”
Rioters also breeched the Senate floor.
“A lot of people look at this and say how can this be the United States of America,” said Sen. Michael Bennet. “To send an image to the rest of the world that suggests our democracy is fragile, that our exercise in self-government doesn’t work is a gift to Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and tyrants all over the planet… I think that we will come out of this stronger but it’s going to take every single citizen of this country to commit to our democracy.”
That includes lawmakers who, Buck says, continued to bicker even as rioters threatened to breech the chamber, “There were some members screaming back and forth which just absolutely blew me a way that, at a time like this, we can’t even avoid partisanship… a lot of folks need to pray right now.”
Several other members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation took to Twitter. Congresswoman Dianna DeGette tweeted, “This isn’t a protest. This is an attempted coup.”
Fierce Trump defenders, Representatives Doug Lamborn and Lauren Boebert also condemned the violence.
Lamborn said, “This is not who we are as Americans.”
Boebert tweeted, “The violence we saw today is inexcusable.”