In an emotional speech Tuesday, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., credited police officers for allowing her to escape unharmed from the Capitol on Jan. 6 amid a riot by Trump supporters.
"Most people don't know this, and I don't think even you know this, but your actions had a profound impact on me," Murphy said to D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, one of the four witnesses to testify on Tuesday during the first House committee hearing to investigate the Capitol insurrection.
After showing a video of Hodges walking into the Capitol, preparing his gas mask and fighting to protect the entrance of a hallway from aggressive rioters, Murphy revealed that she was hiding close by.
"I was holed up with Congresswoman Kathleen Rice in a small office about 40 paces from the tunnel you all were in," she said.
"In that video, where you were sacrificing your body to hold that door, it gave Congresswoman Rice and I and the Capitol Police officers who had been sent to extract us the freedom of movement on that hallway to escape down the other end of the hallway," Murphy continued. "I shudder to think about what would have happened had you not held that line."
Murphy had taken refuge alongside her colleague Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., in the lower west terrace of the Capitol, which they thought would be safe because of its positioning at the heart of the building and in the basement.
It turned out to be where "the center of the storm" took place, said Murphy, who described hearing the police officers defending the entrance.
"I listened to you struggle, I listened to you yelling out to one another, I listened to you care for one another, directing people back to the makeshift eyewash station that was at the end of our hall," she recalled. "And then I listened to people coughing, having difficulty breathing, but I watched you and heard you all get back into the fight."
Murphy believed that the rioters intended to harm members of Congress when they came to storm the Capitol.
"I think it's important for everyone to remember, though, that the main reason rioters didn't harm any members of Congress is because they didn't encounter any members of Congress," she said. "And they didn’t encounter any members of Congress because law enforcement officers did your jobs that day and you did it well."
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