WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., moved to protect two of his fellow senators during Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol building when it was still unclear whether they would be attacked while in the chamber.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, wrote an account for the Bangor Daily News in Maine. In it, she described the moment when the senators learned the rioters had entered the building.
Collins said the Sergeant at Arms burst into the chamber and removed Vice President Mike Pence. Then the two Senate leaders were also rushed away.
“My first thought was that the Iranians had followed through on their threat to strike the Capitol, but a police officer took over the podium and explained that violent demonstrators had breached the entire perimeter of the Capitol and were inside,” she wrote. “Several of us pointed out that the doors to the press gallery were unlocked right above us. That tells you how overwhelmed and unprepared the Capitol Police were, although many, many of them were very courageous.”
She said the senators were told to stay in the chamber, even though they believed the crowd may have been headed their way.
She said at that time, Young moved over to her and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ala. She later learned he was getting ready to protect them if the rioters broke into the chamber.
Young spent time in the U.S. Marines in the 1990s after graduating from the United States Naval Academy. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2000.
The rioters never reached the Senate chamber Wednesday, thanks in large part to a Capitol police officer who led them away from the entrance.
When reached for comment about Collins’ account of his actions, Young simply replied, “easy choice.”