'There were issues in our 2020 election': Rep. Troy Nehls recounts Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- One year after the Capitol attack, most Republicans are trying to condemn the violence without condemning former President Donald Trump. Republican Rep. Troy Nehls spoke with ABC13 about his perspective on the attack, which he adamantly said was not an insurrection.

SEE RELATED STORY: 7 hours, 700 arrests, 1 year later: The Jan. 6 Capitol attack, by the numbers

Rep. Nehls also said he disagreed with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's characterization of Jan. 6 as a "violent terrorist attack."

"There hasn't been one person charged with insurrection, so why is our president calling it an 'armed insurrection' when people could be charged with insurrection," asked Nehls.

He recounted the moments that led up to one of the most iconic photos from Jan. 6. Nehls was captured speaking face-to-face with a rioter through broken glass of the chamber doors.

Nehls said he was doing everything he could to keep people from getting past them.

The rioter's goal was to stop Congress from certifying the election of Joe Biden based on false claims of stolen votes.

"There were issues in our 2020 election," Nehls said.

Several investigations and audits have failed to turn up evidence of mass voter fraud. Despite that, Nehls said he still believes Trump's allegations and would not change his vote not to certify the election results in two states.

When asked whether he believes President Biden was legitimately elected, he said, "Joe Biden received the support in the United States, House and Senate and was obviously sworn in on Jan. 20. He got through."

Meanwhile, Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, said a majority of Republicans would risk their political careers if they publicly held Trump responsible.

"As long as Donald Trump is on the scene, it's likely we are not going to really be able to address the events of January 6 in the proper perspective," Jones said. "As a result, they try to walk a tightrope between neither condemning nor supporting the events of January 6, and prefer that this remain in the past and that we move on to other issues."

Holding the party line, Nehls said he blames Capitol police officials and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for that day.

"There are swamp creatures up there that don't like Donald Trump. They do not want Donald Trump to come back in 2024, and that's what this is all about," he said.

Nehls called the select committee investigating the attack a sham. He said that he and four other Republicans originally appointed will submit their own report. It's an indication that a year later, our politics and our country remain deeply divided.

"I think it, unfortunately, can and will be a very, very difficult year in our country. Our country lacks faith, and we have to pray for our country," said Nehls.
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