Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville found himself huddling with Republican colleagues inside a storage closet just days after he was sworn in during the Capitol riot Jan. 6th.
Surrounded by stacked chairs and leading Senate conservatives, the former Auburn football coach faced the first big choice of his new career as a politician: whether to vote to object to electoral votes from states that voted for Joe Biden where then-President Donald Trump was claiming electoral fraud.
A MAGA mob had ransacked the building, and senators were sequestered inside a large hearing room protected by Capitol Police.
Tuberville described it as a big game decision as about a dozen GOP lawmakers pondered what to do next.
'You've got 25 seconds to call a play,' he said. You can't call a bunch of timeouts.'
Reflecting on the moment, he told the Washington Post, someone brought up that 'people were hurt.' Another that Joe Biden would be president at the end of the day – although Tuberville had publicly voiced suspicion about the legitimacy of the vote.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) huddled with fellow Republican senators on Jan. 6th for privacy inside a secure room after the Jan. 6th Capitol riot. They were weighing how to respond when voting on electoral votes in the presidential election
'Do we want to continue this? If there's not going to be a result we are looking for anyway?' Tuberville said of the discussion.
The senators went inside the storage closet for 'privacy' while in the secure area, according to the paper.
In the end, Tuberville decided to vote as one of eight Senate Republicans to object to certified votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Among them were Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, and Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith, who all were