When a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) was among a group of a few dozen lawmakers and staff on the floor of the U.S. House, feet away from insurrectionists pounding at the chamber doors in an attempt to violently overthrow the federal government.
In the nick of time, that group was rushed to a secure room, where they waited out the rest of attack. Hours later, the House returned to the same place to finish the job of certifying the Electoral College results, where Connolly watched as 121 of his Republican colleagues forged ahead to vote in favor of overturning the 2020 election results—precisely what the mob was threatening Congress to do.
For the Virginia Democrat, and many of his colleagues, that is a vote, and a day, those Republicans cannot come back from. “I don’t see how we return to business as normal,” Connolly told The Daily Beast. “You aren't just a colleague on the other side whom I oppose politically—you’re someone willing to associate yourself with a threat to my life, my staff’s life, and my family. That changes relationships, radically. And I don’t know how going forward we’re going to repair that breach.”