Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff choked up as he addressed witnesses during Tuesday’s hearing on the Capitol riot.
Schiff said he had not expected the emotional impact of the day to be as great as it was, joking about the fact that his colleague, Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, had also been similarly affected. (RELATED: ‘Democracies Are Not Defined By Our Bad Days’: Adam Kinzinger Breaks Down During Jan. 6 Hearing)
“I believe in this country, and I believe in it because of people like you who understand what the flag means and what our Constitution means and risk their lives to defend it,” Schiff began.
“I like to think, as Amanda Gorman so eloquently said, that ‘we’re not broken, we’re just unfinished,'” Schiff continued. “Because if we’re no longer committed to a peaceful transfer of power after elections if our side doesn’t win, then God help us.”
“If we deem elections illegitimate merely because it didn’t go our way, rather than trying to do better the next time, then God help us. And if we’re so driven by bigotry and hate that we attack our fellow citizens as traitors, if they’re born in another country or they don’t look like us, then,” Schiff paused, taking several deep breaths and clearly attempting to regain his composure. “Then God help us.”
“But, I have faith, because of folks like you,” Schiff added, still struggling to speak clearly. He turned to Kinzinger and added, “And, I, I didn’t expect this to be quite so emotional either, it must be an Adam thing today.”