SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Senator Mike Rounds says he could hear windows breaking and people yelling and that’s when armed guards locked the doors and began evacuating the senators. He and other members of congress were about to certify the electoral votes submitted by individual states when protestors outside the capitol broke in.
“It was not so much that I was fearful for myself, but I was pretty sure we were going to be in the middle of what would be a very bloody day in the Capitol,” said Rounds.
And that would be the case, with numerous people badly injured and one protestor and one Capitol police officer dead.
Inside, Rounds and Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska was among the last to leave the chambers and helped the aids in charge of the boxes containing the electoral college votes.
“So we picked up the boxes and walked out of the senate chamber and walked down to a secure location, and I just remember that because I got to thinking of the significance of what those boxes meant and the fact that every single state had laid out and had certified to Congress in the electoral college who they voted for on a state by state basis for the next president of the United States. We had those there and at that point these ladies were concerned because they didn’t want them to fall into the wrong hands, said Rounds.
Rounds says he wants people to know the senators did their duty that day and preserved the integrity of the election process.
“The other thing I want the American people to know is we had the opportunity to look at the election process, we looked at the challenges that had been made, none of them proved to be fruitful for the former president, in every single case where there was a promise of providing evidence of a problem in multiple states’ we did not find evidence of significant election fraud, or for that matter, we did not find any evidence of election fraud that would have changed the outcome in any one of those states,” said Rounds.
Rounds says there are two ways to look at January 6th. Point fingers or figure out how to move on united as a country.
“Part of that is recognizing that this process did work, despite individuals that were there to be violent and despite their attempts to stop the process that was put in place by our Founding Fathers, it did not happen Vice President Mike Pence fulfilled his constitutional responsibility and he did it in the face of major challenges and he stood his ground and he did what he was supposed to do, I admire him for that,” said Rounds.
He is also proud that senators, house members, and staff stayed and finished the process.
“There are still people in this country who believe in the constitutional process and they are not going to let violent protests or insurrectionists stop that process from succeeding,” said Rounds.