Rep. Maxine Waters recounts terror of Jan. 6 Capitol attack: 'I would have been killed'

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One year since rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters says the threat to our democracy is even greater now than it was on January 6, 2021.

"I was barricaded in my office, but I know that if I had been caught, walking from where I had been sitting in the gallery there back to my office that I would have been killed," Waters said. "Because I am a target of the right wing, of the racists and of those members who belong to the domestic terrorists."

Waters says the threat is greater because of the actions Republicans are taking at the local level, in state legislatures, to suppress the vote.

The U.S. Department of Justice has arrested and charged more than 725 defendants from across the country for their roles in the violent insurrection, but Waters believes that it's not enough and says that any of her Republican colleagues who helped organize the attack or continue to push the idea that the 2020 election was stolen must be held accountable.

"Why is it they don't want to cooperate? Why is it they don't want to bring their papers? What are they hiding? They're hiding their plans. They're hiding their notes. They're hiding their emails. All of which was a part of what we saw happen one year ago," Waters said.

"I work with these same Republicans every day and in numerous hearings, even that don't have anything to do with this. They will still continue to talk about the election, talk about it as being stolen, talk about election fraud, when what is actually taking place are measures that are being put in place in different states like Georgia to actually legalize overturning elections," added Rep. Karen Bass.

Bass, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles, says that she is haunted by the Jan. 6 insurrection. She calls the experience "a near miss" because she had walked out of the gallery 10 minutes before the angry mob entered.

"I think we all took democracy and the peaceful transfer of power for granted," Bass said. "I never really thought even with all the rhetoric there would be a violent attempt at our country."

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