Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says 'it's time to heal the nation'

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Thursday, January 7, 2021
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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on chaos: 'I'm begging to call for peace'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is opening up more about what happened as she and many other lawmakers sheltered themselves the moment protesters swarmed Capitol Hill.

In an interview with ABC13, Jackson Lee shares what happened and what she hopes for in the next coming days.

The moment chaos erupted

"Well, first of all, let me thank all the Houstonians who found a way to text or to find my phone to see if I was okay. I was in the chamber, we were engaging in our constitutional duty for those who were objecting, refusing to accept the fact that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris actually won this election. But we were engaged in the constitutional process and the chambers were attacked," Jackson Lee said.

She added that initially, some members began to flee while others, who couldn't, waited until they were told to do so.

"The doors were locked. The doors were stampeded. The doors were jammed with furniture. Guns were drawn, shots were fired and we were on the ground. In the essence of the United States Capitol, the symbol of democracy, right before our very eyes, was not only attacked but it was an attempt to destroy. Glass breaking. Going into windows. This is a symbol of the United States of America. Putting flags of Donald Trump on historic statues. This was a horrible scene, because America represents, to the world, the greatest democracy ever. So frankly, what happened, plain and simple - attack. I think the other thing that was so distressing was that a young woman was shot right outside of the chambers. That young woman is dead. Blood lays at the feet of Donald J. Trump," she said.

SEE ALSO: Texas lawmakers react to protesters storming US Capitol

Q: "It's been said that your colleagues, some of them have spurred this on. Talk to me about that."

"As a member of the United States Congress, I can't object to members who wish to use the constitutional process to object. I can't question why, in an overwhelming victory by President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris by 306 votes, they want to continue that. One member of Congress actually sued Vice President [Mike Pence] this morning. We have found ways during my time in Congress to work together. This instance, I believe, was truly provoked by the president of the United States, and at the beliefs by many that this would enhance their political standing, give them a political future with the so-called Trump base. None of them thought for a moment that their greatest commitment and dedication should be as a patriot to America, to the entity of America, almost as Abraham Lincoln said, "Heal the nation." It was a vigorously fought election and 81 million people, the largest number ever, voted for Biden. He won. He will win [Wednesday] when we continue our work. We will resume our work. And the question has to be, whether or not we could heal the nation and that those who have opposed it will not think of this as a normal football game, if you will, where the giants play. They will look at it in a way George W. Bush looks at it, it is an insurrection. It is sickening and heartbreaking."

The Houston congresswoman said this instance went beyond one's view.

"It has turned into a moment when someone has lost their life. It is time to heal the nation. More importantly, it is time for President Donald Trump to take to the airwaves to act as a president and to be able to denounce this violence," she said. "If you have any authority, any place in your heart, if you're in the opposition party in this instance I would beg of you to call for peace."

SEE ALSO: Twitter locks Trump account after removing tweets about DC protesters

Going back to work

"We are in an undisclosed place, yes. We'll be called back shortly and we will continue the debate. But you know what, I'm hoping that someone will convince Sen. Josh Hawley and others to stand down, that we continue the vote ceremonially and that as Vice President Mike Pence has acknowledged constitutionally, he has no authority to change the results. We will count those votes, do our constitutional duty and declare Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president," she said.

She added that while she did not agree with the outcome in the state of Texas when it came to the presidential vote, she accepted it.

"I recognized that Donald Trump won Texas and Joe Biden did not. They have to recognize that Biden won Georgia and Donald Trump did not."

Jackson Lee said she believes these actions are sedition, treason and that many of them will be introducing impeachment resolutions in the next couple of days.

When asked if she was nervous about returning to Capitol Hill following the deadly riot and with tensions still on, Jackson Lee responded that she was hoping enhanced security will have swept the chambers.

SEE ALSO: Strong condemnation from US allies as world leaders react to chaos on Capitol Hill

Earlier in the day, after the mob entered the U.S Capitol when she was in a safe location, Jackson Lee wrote on Twitter, "We will stay on the floor until every vote is counted and President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are again confirmed as President and Vice President of the United States of America."

A short time later, Jackson Lee also told ABC News in a live interview she said this was a "call to war."

"We believe that people have a right to have a difference of opinion. But this was not a difference of opinion," Jackson Lee said. "This was a call to war and a call to action as called by the sitting President of the United States."

When asked if she thought impeachment should be considered, Jackson Lee said, "I think it should and I guess there'll be a number of members, doing so, because I am going up as a member of the Judiciary Committee articles of impeachment. I think we have seen today some actions that in our lifetime, we would never have expected to see."