Updated at 9:25 p.m.
As pro-Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts was presiding over the House.
I am currently in the House Chamber presiding in the chair. The doors to the chamber have been locked because protesters have breached security. We will not be intimidated.
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) January 6, 2021
With some commotion in the chamber, McGovern — a Worcester Democrat — declared a recess.
Later, with the House back in session, McGovern interrupted Rep. Paul Gosar's speech about Arizona's election results to say the Republican's speaking time had expired.
“Without objection, the House is going to go back into recess,” McGovern announced again, hitting the gavel as staff members directed lawmakers to stay in their seats.
C-SPAN soon cut away.
Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont was also in the House chamber at the time. Welch said Capitol Police told lawmakers to get their gas masks out.
“We were then told to lie on the floor, so everybody got on the floor underneath the seats,” Welch told NPR. “And the Capitol Police who were there drew their pistols and obviously were in combat-ready situation and urging us to be calm and urging us to stay low.”
Welch said the lawmakers were all escorted out safely. As he understands it, he said, right afterwards the extremists broke their way into the House chamber. Welch was speaking from what he described as a "bomb shelter" in another building in the Capitol complex.
'Seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy'
Later, on Twitter, McGovern said the country was “attacked by domestic terrorists who were following Donald Trump’s orders.”
Stop calling them rioters or protesters.
They are domestic terrorists.
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) January 6, 2021
Several elected officials from New England called for Trump to be removed from office, including Massachusetts Reps. Richard Neal of Springfield, Katherine Clark of Melrose, and Seth Moulton of Salem.
The President incited an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol today. The 25th amendment should be invoked, and he should be removed from office. What we witnessed in Washington today was an assault on the citadel of democracy.
— Rep. Richard Neal (@RepRichardNeal) January 7, 2021
Despite the seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy, we in Congress will fulfill our duty to ensure the will of the people and the integrity of our democracy is upheld. But the next days and weeks remain dangerous. 1/2
— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 6, 2021
“Donald Trump is a traitor to our country and our Constitution,” Clark tweeted. “He must be removed from office and prevented from further endangering our country and our people.”
Trump is directly responsible for this insurrection and violence. He needs to be removed from office immediately. It is the Constitutional responsibility of Vice President Pence and the cabinet to exercise the power granted them by the 25th amendment.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) January 6, 2021
The Republican governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, agreed, tweeting, “President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress.”
Make no mistake, the President of the United States is responsible for this event.
President Trump has orchestrated a campaign to cause an insurrection that overturns the results of a free, fair and legal election. 3/
— Governor Phil Scott (@GovPhilScott) January 6, 2021
Another Republican governor from New England, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, likewise blamed Trump for the attack on the Capitol. But Baker did not call for the president’s removal from office.
The chaos now unfolding is the sad but predictable outcome of weeks of attacks perpetrated by President Trump and his supporters against the democratic process that makes America the greatest nation on earth. These baseless challenges to President-elect Biden’s victory must stop.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) January 6, 2021
The outrage extended beyond government officials.
Michael Begay of Deerfield, Massachusetts, said he was alarmed by what he saw. He said President Trump has to accept he lost the election. Either way, he said Trump's influence on Congress is not going away anytime soon.
"And some of the Republicans really have to think twice as to who they really represent," he said. "Do they represent Trump or the concerns and worries of the American people?"
Hunter Dekarski of Florence is a Trump supporter. He was disturbed by the violence, but he said it was caused by just a fraction of the Trump supporters gathered outside the Capitol. He insisted the election results need more scrutiny, and said something has be done about that.
"When your government is radical, you need to be radical," he said.
Roy Martin from Northampton described the mob as a bunch of "idiots," and he wasn't sold by Trump's video message to them.
"I think even though Trump said [to] stand down, the way he said it was like, 'Okay, I'm saying stand down but I'm also saying keep fighting,'" said Martin, a Marine veteran.
Martin said he can imagine there will be more "uprisings" and the police will be out in force.
"I mean, when people are trying to take over the country, it's totally disrespectful of all us veterans who fought for the country," he said.