“I thought I was going to die. And I had a lot of thoughts, you have a lot of thoughts when you’re in a situation like that. I have never been quieter in my entire life,” Ocasio-Cortez said through tears.
Since the attack, the U.S. Department of Justice has revealed in court filings that at least one of the domestic terrorists who got into the building, Garret A. Miller, made explicit threats about plans to kill Ocasio-Cortez.
“Assassinate AOC,” Miller wrote, according to court documents filed in Texas.
The congresswoman astounded the thousands of people watching her Instagram Live video by explaining the deep fear she felt during the attack, which was amplified by the fact that she is a sexual assault survivor.
“These folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize. These are the same tactics of abusers. And I’m a survivor of sexual assault. I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that as the attackers made their way into the Capitol Building, she prepared herself to die.
“I’m like at a 10 because I’ve probably [experienced] two times today that I already thought I was going to die. I really just felt like, if this is the plan for me, then people will be able to take it from here. I had fulfilled my purpose,” she said.
For an hour and a half, Ocasio-Cortez walked the audience through what happened on Jan. 6 from the perspective of House members, who were forced to evacuate their offices after Capitol Police said there was a credible bomb threat. The FBI later reported that pipe bombs were found in multiple areas.
As it became clear that the attackers were breaking into the building, Ocasio-Cortez said she ran to her office and locked herself inside her bathroom. “Where is she? Where is she?” she said she heard someone saying.
“And this was the moment where I thought everything was over,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
She said it was eventually revealed that the person was a Capitol Police officer, but the officer was not friendly or supportive and she had concerns about where he was taking her. She said he approached her and a staffer with “a tremendous amount of anger and hostility.”
“We couldn’t even tell or read if this was a good situation or bad situation. It didn’t feel okay,” she said.
At least one Capitol Police officer has been fired for taking selfies with domestic terrorists and others have been sanctioned after videos showed officers letting attackers into the building, Blavity previously reported.
Over the last few weeks, Ocasio-Cortez has said multiple times that she had concerns about the Capitol Police leading up to Jan. 6 and has openly said that she even fears some of her Republican colleagues, who have since been implicated in working with some of the groups that attacked the Capitol.
At least one Republican member of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene, has expressed support for killing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others who attacked the Capitol Building expressed desires to harm Pelosi.
During the Instagram Live, Ocasio-Cortez told the audience of more than 150,000 that she began receiving messages from other members of Congress about the need to protect herself and “that in particular, I needed to be careful about the sixth.”
“It felt actively volatile and dangerous,” she said, describing how she was accosted by supporters of former President Donald Trump as she drove to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4.
On Jan. 6, after being told to evacuate the building by the officer who banged on her door, she said she was concerned because the officer never explained where members of Congress should go. She ran over to another building and eventually bumped into California Congresswoman Katie Porter, who offered to shelter her in her office.
Porter later spoke to MSNBC about what happened, confirming much of what Ocasio-Cortez said and expressing her own concerns about how the Capitol Police handled the situation.
“The two memories, especially as a mom, that were really powerful for me, are when I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m a mom. I’m calm, I’ve got everything here we need. We could live for like a month in this office.’ And she said, ‘I just hope I get to be a mom. I hope I don’t die today,'” Porter recounted of her conversation with Ocasio-Cortez that day.
Porter added that the other thing that stood out was when Ocasio-Cortez asked if she had another pair of shoes because she had heels on.
“I knew I shouldn’t have worn heels. How am I going to run?” Porter said Ocasio-Cortez asked her.
Porter went on to say that she, Ocasio-Cortez, her staff and others hid in their office for six hours, with no communication from Capitol Police about what to do or where to go. They heard loud voices in the hallway and had no idea if it was the police or attackers.