Senate

Schumer says he was targeted on Jan. 6 for his religion

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday recounted being evacuated from the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 attack, including a close brush with rioters who he was told made antisemitic remarks about him.

“I was within 30 feet of these nasty, racist, bigoted insurrectionists. Had someone had a gun, had two of them blocked off the door, who knows what would have happened. I was told later that one of them reportedly said, ‘There’s the big Jew. Let’s get him,’ ” Schumer said.

“Bigotry against one is bigotry against all. And I saw something that I had been told later never happened before, the Confederate flag flying in this dear Capitol. That’s just one of many searing, grotesque images of that unimaginable, most un-American day,” Schumer added.

Schumer, like most of the Senate, was on the Senate floor when it was locked down after a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol building. He and other senators were subsequently evacuated from the chamber.

Part of his evacuation was shown during the impeachment trial last year, where Schumer and his security detail were shown being forced to change course in the Capitol complex after nearly coming face-to-face with some of the insurrectionists on Jan. 6.

“A police officer in a big flak jacket and large rifle grabbed me firmly by the collar, like this, I’ll never forget that grip, and said to me, senator, we got to get out of here. You’re in danger. We walked out the Senate chamber door, made a right turn, went through another door,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.

During his speech, Schumer called out former President Trump, warned that democracy was at risk and made an indirect plea to Republicans to urge them to talk about the attack. Though several Republicans were angry with Trump in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack, some of the president’s closest allies have tried to downplay the violence.

“The only way we’ll truly move forward from Jan. 6 is by speaking to power. We cannot avoid it. The truth about what happened that day, about what led to the violence, about what it means for our democracy moving forward. I say this because too many often, depending on their allegiances, seem desperate to sweep the memory of Jan. 6 under the rug. Too many are working to rewrite the history of what happened,” Schumer said.

Democrats are taking to the Senate floor on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the attack, to recount their experiences and to push for Congress to pass voting rights and election legislation. Schumer has vowed to force a vote on changing the Senate’s filibuster rule by Jan. 17 if Republicans block voting rights legislation.

No Republicans have spoken on the Senate floor as of early Thursday afternoon.

Tags Capitol riot Charles Schumer Donald Trump Jan. 6 anniversary

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