Former Fort Bend County Sheriff, U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls (R) Tx-Dist. 22 was on his third day in Congress when hundreds of people who refused to believe President Donald Trump lost the election stormed the Capitol building. in Washington D.C.
Nehls said he was preparing to object to the votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania when Capitol Police entered the House Chamber.
“He said, ‘The Capitol has been breached,’” Nehls recalls a police officer telling lawmakers.
Nehls stood with Capitol officers as they barricaded doors to the House. He then describes hearing shouts outside, followed by banging and eventually a glass window being shattered. Nehls said he then spoke to one of the rioters.
Nehls also shared his views on those who entered the Capitol building and condemned those who attacked police officers, while at the same time defending some of the protesters.
While calling Jan. 6 a “black eye on the American people,” Nehls criticized Capitol Police for not being better prepared to handle the threats of violence that were spreading across social media in the days prior.
He also condemned the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt and said he believes Lt. Michael Byrd “overreacted.”
Investigations by Capitol Police and the Department of Justice cleared Byrd of any wrongdoing.
Nehls, however, did say “I do not agree with her actions,” referring to Babbitt trying to crawl through a broken window. He went on to say he does not believe President Trump incited the riot but concedes he could have acted faster to reports of violence at the Capitol.
“Were there mistakes that were made? Could President Trump [have] come out earlier and say what he said? Absolutely, and maybe he should have,” Nehls said.
When directly asked whether he believes President Joe Biden legitimately won the election, Nehls would not answer.
“I will say this, I don’t believe Joe Biden would have received more votes than Barack Obama,” said Nehls.
Numerous investigations and audits have shown there was no widespread voter fraud that would have impacted the outcome of the Presidential election.
The Department of Justice has charged 725 individuals with various crimes related to Jan. 6 and reports more than $1.5 million in damage was done to the Capitol. The DOJ reports the FBI is still seeking the identities of 350 more suspects involved in the attack.
A full list of individuals charged can be found at Justice.gov.
“The assault on the Capitol is really an assault on what type of government we have,” said retired US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Ken Magidson.
“What is the danger of not seeing this through to the very end?” asked KPRC 2 Investigative Reporter Robert Arnold.
“The danger is that it imperils our democratic form of government,” said Magidson.
Nine of those charged in connection with Jan. 6 are from the Houston area. Two of those defendants have pleaded guilty.
Former Houston Police Officer Tam Pham pleaded guilty to one count of Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing inside a Capitol building and was sentenced to 45 days in prison. Pham’s attorney, Nicole DeBorde told us, “Mr. Pham deeply regrets being present on January 6th. He is grateful he has been given the opportunity to put this case behind him and to move on with his life.”
Court records show Richard Barnard also pleaded guilty to one count of Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing inside a Capitol Building. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.