- As senators were hiding from rioters on January 6, Graham interrupted a Capitol officer who was giving evacuation instructions.
- “You are here to protect us,” he reportedly told the officer. “You let people break through the Capitol.”
- “Shut up, Lindsey! replied Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
As senators gathered in a safe place amid the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was apoplectic, even complaining to a Capitol police officer that security forces security “let people into the Capitol”.
That’s according to reporting included in “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future,” a forthcoming book by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns.
After being evacuated from the Senate Chamber, the senators were taken to the secure location of SH-216, the Senate Judiciary Committee Room in the Hart Senate Office Building. A capitol police captain reportedly told the group that they hoped to evacuate them in buses behind the building.
“Right now, the Capitol is breached,” the captain said. “We need you to be patient and then we’ll move you in an orderly fashion.”
Another office then started talking, telling the senators that the plan “is to get here in SH-216, wait until we figure out what the next step will be -“
But then Graham interrupted the officers.
“The next step is to get them out!” said Graham. “Whatever strength you need. You are here to protect us. This is the center of democracy. You let people break through the Capitol.”
The explosion reportedly drew the ire of his fellow senators.
“Shut up, Lindsey! Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio reportedly shouted, as another person yelled at Graham that “there are no cameras – come on!”
Graham’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. It has previously been reported that the South Carolina Republican wants officers to use guns against rioters.
” What are you doing ? Take back the Senate! You have guns. Use them,” he reportedly told the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms.
Graham, a former foe of former President Donald Trump, became one of the president’s closest allies and Senate confidants even after the riot.
But that didn’t stop him from venting his frustrations with Trump that day.
“Trump and I had a hell of a trip. I hate it to end like this, oh my god, I hate it,” Graham said on the floor after the Senate resumed after the attack. “From my perspective, he’s been a back-to-back president…all I can say is I don’t count. Enough is enough. I tried to be helpful.”