House Majority Whip James Clyburn said Friday that the ease in which rioters were able to get into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday suggests that someone on the inside of the Capitol was “complicit” in the assault.
“I do believe that something was going on,” Clyburn told CBSN anchor Lana Zak. “They knew where to go. I’ve been told … by some other Congress people that their staff are saying that they saw people being allowed into the building through side doors. Who opened those side doors for these protesters, or I call them these mobsters, to come into the building, not through the main entrance where magnetometers are but through side doors. Yes, somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this.”
Supporters of President Trump ransacked the building, forcing the evacuation of lawmakers who were meeting to count the Electoral College votes.
Clyburn suggested his inner office was targeted by the mob because there was “activity outside of my inner office where most people don’t know where that is.”
“The office with my name on the door was not touched. But the office where I do most of my work in, they were on that floor and outside that door,” the South Carolina Democrat said.
Clyburn also said he felt something was “amiss” Wednesday morning when he arrived at the Capitol and “the perimeter had not been established.”
“There were no security people on the steps. They were all out in a place which I thought gave low security,” he said, adding, “They were not just derelict. You could say they were complicit.”
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sundfollowing the riots, but defended the police response to the violence. He said officers’ actions were “heroic given the situation they faced.” One police officer and four civilians were killed during the riots.