Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) took the stand Thursday in a case attempting to disqualify former President Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot in Colorado, with the GOP congressman appearing as a witness on behalf of Trump campaign attorneys attempting to discredit the House Select Committee that investigated Jan. 6.
The case centers on whether Trump’s actions and speeches during and before the Jan. 6 riots could fall under a clause of the 14th Amendment, which bans those who participate or assist in insurrection from federal office.
The plaintiffs have argued that Trump’s actions supported the rioters who eventually stormed the Capitol amid Congress’ official Electoral College count of the 2020 election, which Trump lost.
Buck described a chaotic scene on Jan. 6 as Capitol Police attempted to barricade the House chamber from approaching rioters.
“A police officer came to the microphone and said that tear gas had been dispersed. And we were advised that there were gas masks under our seats and we should deploy those gas masks,” Buck said. “There was clear indication that there was a danger at that point.”
He said that he didn’t have phone reception and wasn’t aware of the riots, so he readied himself to assist police in fending off what he believed would be a small number of protesters.
“I came back to my office rather than the secure committee room and I saw on TV what was going on and I thought ‘Oh my goodness, there are a lot of people out there,’” he said.
Buck was the second lawmaker to take the stand in the case. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) also testified on Monday to recount his own experience that day.
Attorneys for Trump’s campaign also used Buck’s testimony in an attempt to criticize the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, whose report is a key piece of evidence used by plaintiffs in the Colorado case.
Only two Republicans — then-Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) — were seated on the committee after then-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) disallowed GOP members amid feuds with Democrats over the committee’s membership.
Buck revealed that he wanted to be on the committee and asked McCarthy, but he declined the offer.
“I asked Kevin if I could get his permission to seek to serve on that committee, because I thought it was important that witnesses were cross examined and documents were challenged,” Buck said. “And Kevin told me that he did not want me serving on that committee, and he didn’t want any other Republicans serving on that committee.”
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This story originally Appeared on The Hill