WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A NewsNation reporter who was barricaded in the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection for more than 12 hours says the riots are something that he will carry forever.
NewsNation reporter Joe Khalil was inside the Capitol to watch the Electoral College certification of then-President-elect Joe Biden’s victory one year ago. Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol after a rally held by Trump over his claims of widespread voter fraud.
An investigation by The Associated Press found fewer than 475 cases of voter fraud among 25.5 million ballots cast in the six battleground states disputed by Trump, a minuscule number in percentage terms.
“I was one floor below, when writers came in, and we saw those images on television,” Khalil said. “I remember one Capitol police officer, there’s a group of us probably a dozen or so reporters and staffers and then some officers. They started running around, it was clear that these officers were frantic.”
Four people died on the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer died the day after defending Congress.
“I remember one officer specifically, she started crying and running and we could hear on her radio that there were shots fired. And they basically told a whole group of us, none of us knew what was happening that moment, they just said, run that way, as far away from, you know, the middle of the building the center, as you can,” Khalil said. “They said, basically, we can’t protect you anymore. All of us are all hands on.”
Before the riot, the Capitol was a symbol of the openness of American democracy, but it remains closed to most visitors in part because of the coronavirus pandemic public health concerns, but also because of the escalated number of violent threats against lawmakers. Representatives are required to pass through metal detectors amid fighting between Democrats and Republicans, with some Democrats saying they cannot trust their Republican colleagues not to bring firearms to the House during floor proceedings.
“I can tell you that shakes you,” Khalil told Adrienne Bankert on “Morning in America.” “When you see officers very clearly shaken and telling you to just barricade … find a door and close it and look out for each other. That was a directive that we were given.”
You can see Khalil’s full story in the player above.
The Associated Press contributed to this reprot.