Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) revealed Tuesday she feared for her life during deadly rioting at the Capitol by supporters of President Trump last week, saying she had a “close encounter” during the chaos that shook her deeply.
“I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a video on her Instagram account. “Not just in a general sense, but in a very, very specific sense.”
Ocasio-Cortez said she could not divulge details of the encounter “due to security concerns,” but assured followers “I thought I was going to die.”
A mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as a joint session of Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The breach sent lawmakers into hiding and forced the proceedings to adjourn for several hours before police could clear the building. Federal law enforcement officials have said they believe the riots were organized online by far-right extremist groups with a goal among some of them of capturing or killing leading lawmakers.
Several of the demonstrators were seen in the Capitol carrying zip-tie restraints, which are sometimes used instead of handcuffs.
House Democrats have introduced a single article of impeachment against Trump in the wake of the riot, accusing him of “inciting insurrection” and riling his supporters to commit acts of violence against them.
During a speech just hours before the riot began, Trump urged his supporters to march on Congress and display “strength” as they protested the Electoral College certification process.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of the first House members to call for Trump’s impeachment following the incident last week, also attacking Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for contesting the election’s result.
“I don’t want to see the Republican Party talk about blue lives ever again,” Ocasio-Cortez said in reference to the death of a Capitol Police officer as a result of the rioting. “This was never about safety for them. It was always a slogan. Because if they actually care about the rule of law they would speak up when people break the law.”
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