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Washington lawmakers describe Wednesday mayhem in the Capitol building

Protesters enter the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Washington lawmakers were in the midst of counting the Electoral College votes when protesters stormed their workplace on Wednesday. They describe the scene.

Rep. Rick Larsen said the demonstration on the streets of Washington D.C. began peacefully, but the protesters lost their purpose and got rowdy. He says they were egged on by the president, and he, Larsen, condemns it.

Larsen spoke to KTTH’s Jason Rantz shortly after the mayhem. He said Wednesday’s display was a threat to everything our country was founded upon.

Larsen said he was locked down in his office with a few staff members as protesters stormed the building.

Rep. Adam Smith was also locked in his office when he spoke with CNN. At the time, he said he expected to get back to the Electoral College vote count Wednesday evening.

“We are determined to do our job,” Smith said.

Smith later tweeted, “President Trump and his enablers are directly responsible for the despicable acts at our nation’s Capitol that we all have witnessed today. The President incited and encouraged this riot. He has lied repeatedly, as have his enablers in Congress and elsewhere about this election.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was in the House Chambers when the group forced their way inside the Capitol building.

“We were instructed to pull out gas masks because tear gas was being dispensed,” Jayapal said. “Those gas masks were all under the seats where we were sitting.”

Read more from Rep. Jayapal’s account here

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler described the scene on the House floor, saying that “the reports you are hearing about the chaos, panic and dangerous actions by protesters are not exaggerations.”

She said Capitol police told her, while they were escorting her to safety, that they had found and detonated four bombs near the campus.

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