On Wednesday, Jan. 6, pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol while Congress was attempting to certify the results of the 2020 election.
Elkhart County Republican Party Chairman Dan Holtz said he marched from the rally near the White House to the Capitol Building. He said since he stayed behind the barricades, he couldn’t see inside the building, but he did see a group of “hooligans” gathered on the steps.
“I have no idea who they were," Holtz said. "They could have been misguided Trump supporters but they were not, to my knowledge, part of any organized Republican party activity or Republican organization.”
Holtz said he denounces any violence that took place at the Capitol, and he claimed it was not representative of the protests as a whole.
A mob occupied the Capitol Building for hours on Wednesday, breaking into the House and Senate chambers and causing lawmakers to be evacuated. Ultimately four people died – one from a gunshot wound, and three more from apparent medical emergencies.
South Bend Tribune Political Columnist Jack Colwell said the president’s repeated false claims that he won the election – and his repeated calls on his followers to protest the election results – fueled Wednesday’s chaos.
“This was something that has been brewing," he said. "It’s absolutely nuts to suggest that those people were not Trump supporters.”
Holtz said he couldn’t access the internet or receive text messages while he was at the Capitol because of the overwhelming demands being put on cell service at the time. He said after he left the Capitol, he was surprised to see several texts come through from people who knew where he was and who were concerned for his safety.
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