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'I remember every detail': Rep. Jayapal reflects on Capitol riot one year later

Rep. Pramila Jayapal said she remembers the events on Jan. 6 "vividly" as the nation looks back on the Capitol riot one year later.

SEATTLE — Rep. Pramila Jayapal, (D) Seattle said she remembers the events on Jan. 6 "vividly" as the nation looks back on the Capitol riot one year later.

On Jan. 6, 2021, thousands of angry supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 Electoral College results and Joe Biden's victory.

Rioters scaled the walls of the Capitol building and stormed the Senate chambers, forcing lawmakers to shelter in place and be rushed from the building.

RELATED: These are the Washingtonians facing charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Jayapal was in the House gallery when the insurrections first came into the Capitol and fresh off knee surgery, awkwardly tried to take cover.

"I remember it incredibly vividly, I remember every detail," said Jayapal. 

The images were among the first broadcast around the world. 

"We were told to pull out our gas masks, which many of us had never seen, never knew how to use, and then we were told to get down onto the floor," Jayapal said.

Yet, Jayapal said she's grown frustrated at the speed of the prosecution and accountability for the people who she deems responsible for the attack. 

"We need to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and who was involved and bring every single one, including those at the very top, to justice. It's going to be very hard for us to assure that this is never going to happen again. And to allow the country to heal," Jayapal said.

Jayapal also said it is hard to combat the misinformation about the events of the day. 

"I don't know that we can get to it completely, there is always probably going to be some group of people who refuses to believe that what happened, happened. But there were too many victims and witnesses to the crime. This was done in full daylight. This was done with TV cameras filming it. You can even see with the information that's coming out of the January 6th select committee, that conservative news hosts like Sean Hannity and others who were texting one thing about their fear of what was happening, that it had to stop. That President Trump had to call off people, the insurrectionists and then at the same time, they're spreading disinformation. So there's a lot that we're going to have to do to unpack all of this," said Jayapal.

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Washington state may be the rare place where many politicians view the events of January 6th with similar perspectives.

There appears to be some level of agreement with key Republicans in Washington state. After all, Washington Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler, and Congressman Dan Newhouse are both Republicans and both voted to impeach then-President Trump for his role in the insurrection.

The State's GOP Chair also says there is no doubt about what occurred, "I certainly believe that the people there were breaking the law and that activity should be condemned and I condemn it and I think there is ample evidence that the people there were Trump supporters," said Caleb Heimlich.

Yet, Heimlich said on a day like the Capitol riot's anniversary, it's a fresh reminder that all political leaders should condemn violence and intimidation and points to how quiet some Democrats were about violence in Downtown Seattle.

"There is plenty to say about the Democrats and their failure to condemn political violence in this state," said Heimlich, "That should be condemned as much as January 6th should be condemned, so violence has no place in our political process."

Jayapal also credits the Republicans who have realized the gravity of the assault on the Capitol. 

"Representative (Liz) Cheney has been incredibly important. Yes, I disagree with her on most policy positions, maybe every policy position. But, I think you have to call out the courage of representative Cheney and Representative (Adam) Kinzinger for the two Republicans who have continued to stand strong, who have not wavered in their fight for the truth and their recognition that if we don't get it, then we really will have no democracy left," said Jayapal.

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