‘Every democracy is a democracy until it isn’t:’ Rep. Stephanie Murphy investigates Jan. 6 riot

Thirty Central Florida residents arrested, charged in connection with attack at U.S. Capitol

From left to right, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., are seated as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – For Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., investigating who was responsible for the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building is vital and personal.

“I know how fragile democracies are, and I know how lucky I am to live in the United States of America, where we have a vibrant democracy, but only if we as citizens are willing to commit to keeping it,” she told News 6. “That means that as an elected official, in this moment, I have an opportunity to provide the facts and the details, and to provide legislative recommendations to ensure that we don’t come this close again.”

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Murphy was not born a natural American citizen.

She was born in Vietnam to parents who eventually decided to escape the authoritarian government and moved to the U.S.

She grew up to work at the Department of Defense, where she focused on struggling democracies.

“Every democracy is a democracy until it isn’t, and it can happen fast,” she said.

On Tuesday, Murphy is reportedly ready to co-chair the Jan. 6 Select Committee hearing which will address the people and events that instigated the mob to storm the U.S. Capitol.

Thirty Central Florida residents have been arrested and charged in connection with the riot at the Capitol.

Some faced misdemeanor charges, while others faced the most serious charges, which include conspiracy to commit sedition.

That includes local members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

Murphy would not comment on specific aspects of their investigation, but she did address the people who have come forward to help connect dots.

“Most of the witnesses have been Republicans -- Republicans that the President had chosen to be a part of his administration, Republicans that he had put in place in the judicial system,” she said. “These were Republicans who, despite being a part of his team, understood that there was a line that they weren’t willing to cross.”

Murphy said it is the select committee’s charge to lay out the facts of what led up to Jan. 6.

She said once the hearings are over, committee members will put forward legislative recommendations to put in” guardrails for our democracy.”

“(These recommendations are) to ensure that nobody in the future, whether they’re Democratic or Republican, can try to subvert the will of the American people,” she said.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.