BALTIMORE — Lawmakers, including Maryland congressman Andy Harris, were on the house floor when rioters stormed into the capitol building.
"We were about one hour into the first certification debate," said Rep. Harris.
Harris said within 15 minutes the group tried to break into the House chambers. He said tear gas was used in Rotunda of the capitol, while he and his colleagues were forced to evacuate.
“When you disobey a lawful order of the capitol police to not enter the capitol building, you have crossed the line you shouldn’t cross," he said.
Meanwhile, Maryland representative Dutch Ruppersberger, watched the unrest from his office building near the capitol in shock.
He blames president Donald Trump for encouraging the protesters with claims the election was stolen.
“I could see the capitol. And I can see our perimeter of police were just broken through," he said. "The symbol of our capitol worldwide is strong. It was weakened today “
The demonstrations that turned into chaos took place as republican lawmakers challenged the results of the election. Rep. Harris supported those effort, but did not plan to object Maryland’s results.
However, he’s calling for an investigation into the election, while he condemned the violence.
“I think it’s what needs to be done to begin the healing of the nation," he said. “I will defend everyone’s right to peaceful protest with every last bone in my body but I will never defend the right to violent protest.