A former US Navy helicopter pilot and former federal prosecutor, Rep Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) speaks of mob violence from a position of professional knowledge. Her battlefield experience and legal expertise equip her with insights and judgment that bring a keen edge to her perspective. So when she refers to the Capitol insurgents as “a mob of domestic terrorists” it’s not hyperbole, it’s forthrightness.
In a Facebook video address made for her constituents, that forthrightness and her utter sincerity carries her message to the hearts of her audience. Sherrill is quiet and measured as she relates the events of that terrible day when a mob of pro-Trump extremists broke into the US Capitol.
And then the doors were shut and locked. We attempted to continue the debate. That became impossible as crowds gathered and began banging on the doors. And so we were told to get out the gas masks in case we had to egress through tear gas.
From time mark 4:20:
And then we were told we had to get down because as they had barricaded the door, the glass was breaking and they were worried that an active shooter was going to get into the chamber. And as I was on the floor, I heard other members making calls home, afraid that that would be the last call they ever made.
They were then given the go-ahead to leave the chamber and make their way to a secure location. From time mark 5:33:
We were were worried, around every corner, that we might find the mob. I was told later that members of that mob had zip ties, and were wearing body armour, and were looking to take prisoners, members of Congress. But we made it to the secure location.
And then, in an act that I think shows the bravery of so many members of this body, members who had really been traumatized, as we were holed up in the chamber and a mob of domestic terrorists, a mob that was violently trying to overthrow our ability to certify the election, they went back hours later, back into that very chamber so we could finish the debate and certify the elections.
The video with captions is also here on NorthJersey.com
But the most chilling intelligence in her address came near the end.
From time mark 11:35:
Because we can’t have a democracy if the president incites violence to turnover the results. We can’t have a democracy if too many members of our police force and our military are acting to overturn it and undermine it.
Yep, she really did say that. But there’s more, and it’s worse…
From time mark 12:11:
I also intend to see those members of Congress who abetted him, those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5th – a reconnaissance for the next day – those members of Congress that incited a violent crowd, those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I’m going to see that they are held accountable and, if necessary, ensure they don’t serve in Congress.
Three times I listened to her say this to make sure I wasn’t mishearing her, and each time it was the same: Rep Mikie Sherrill saw members of Congress taking groups round the Capitol on personally-guided tours that she described as “reconnaissance for the next day.”
I’ve read accounts which claimed that some in the crowd had maps of the Capitol. Other accounts noted how the mob seemed to know where to go to find particular offices. In what is constantly referred to as a rabbit warren of a place, how did they know where to go? Unless they’d been there before, like the day before…
Given her background, particularly her years as a federal prosecutor, you can be certain Mikie Sherrill contacted the FBI to tell them exactly who and what she saw. So when Sherrill said she was going to see they were held accountable, she was speaking literally, as a witness.
It’s a bombshell. It means that those members of Congress are now subjects of an FBI investigation and given the gravity, the absolute enormity, of elected legislators aiding and abetting an insurrection, that investigation is going to be given top priority.
Over at DoJ, prosecutors will already know they have an impeccable eye witness and they’ll be eager to get her in front of a grand jury at the first opportunity.
Stay safe, Mikie Sherrill, your country needs you now more than ever.