Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in a feature in the New York Times, said the events of Jan. 6, when some protesters of the certification of the election became rioters inside the U.S. Capitol, left her so unsettled that she moved out of a basement “hideaway” office she had there. It was too uncomfortable for her to be there, with all the memories of Jan. 6.
In fact, she told the Times that by April, she had become short-tempered, and “couldn’t get myself out of the hole.” So she took a week off during April recess, and told her staff to not schedule anything for her.
The traumatic events she saw included a police officer stumbling down steps to the bathroom across the hall from her hideaway office, and wretching and heaving as he tried to rinse out his eyes from a substance that had been sprayed on him by a rioter. His face was red, his eyes swollen shut. She offered the officer help, but he said he needed to get back to help others, and he left.
“I moved out of my hideaway, so I don’t go back there anymore. I really liked it, but it was just too much déjà vu. That memory is still there. That little public bathroom right across from my hideaway — I can just still hear the awful sound of the officer as he was trying to rid himself of whatever the spray was,” she told the Times.
“But you know, nobody wanted me to be by myself. There were heightened threats, apparently, that we had to be attentive to, and I respect that. But I didn’t like the feeling. I felt that my wings had been clipped,” she said.
“It’s hard. But we’ve got a job to do, and we need to be focusing on what’s in front of us today. So in order to focus on that, maybe the easier thing is to try to push the reality of what we faced those months ago to the further corners of your mind,” Murkowski said. “It doesn’t make them go away. That story will always be with us.”