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'Deep Threat To Democracy': Mass. Lawmakers Worry About Lasting Impact Of Capitol Hill Attack

BOSTON (CBS) - Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern says he'll never forget what unfolded in the U.S. Capitol one year ago when he was the last person off the house floor. "I came face to face with the angry mob," he tells WBZ-TV.

In those faces storming the building he says he was convinced of their intent. "They were here to destroy the Capitol and kill the people who worked here," he said.

Senator Edward Markey recalls the unimaginable warning. "Over the intercom it said the Capitol is under attack, lock all doors, lock all windows," Markey said.

Lawmakers were in the process of certifying the election of Joe Biden when the violence erupted. "To have the citadel of democracy become a fortress was so dismal, it's the low point for American democracy in my lifetime," said Congressman Jake Auchincloss.

Now members of the delegation worry about the day's lasting impact on democratic principles and are concerned former President Donald Trump is still promoting what they call the "big lie", a stolen election.

"Over the past year we've seen dozens of lawmakers attempt to whitewash the attacks. It's alarming how much it is working with a sizeable portion of the American people," said Congresswoman Lori Trahan.

Senator Markey said as Donald Trump continues to perpetuate the "big lie", "it's unfortunately now a deep threat to democracy because too many Americans believe what he is saying."

Federal prosecutors have so far charged more than 700 people with participating in the attack. The January 6 committee continues to gather evidence while bills protecting voting rights are stalled in Congress.

"We are at risk of losing what is unique about this country," said Congressman McGovern. "If we lose it the people's voices will not be heard."

Congressman Stephen Lynch says he worries now about unifying the country. "I worry for my country, I worry this fringe element that is denying the truth and acting with violence," Lynch said. He's worried without unity it could happen again.

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