Applause for AJC Washington correspondent Tia Mitchell, who braved the Trump mob's invasion of the U.S. Capitol last week and carried out her mission.
Mitchell and other Capitol journalists were endangered in their own workplace by an attack like those associated with totalitarian countries. She and several colleagues gave The New York Times first-person accounts of their ordeal. The Sunday article revealed courage under fire in performing their First Amendment duties.
Along with several colleagues, Mitchell was covering the debate over certifying Joe Biden's election as president when the vandals broke into the Capitol corridors and attempted to enter the House chamber. As Mitchell told the Times, she was reporting on Georgia's House Republican delegation protesting the state's electoral votes going to Biden. As the threat worsened, she was given a gas mask, and taken to a safe location.
After the looters were at last cleared and Congress resumed its debate late Wednesday night, Mitchell returned to report on Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler's speech announcing that she would change course and not oppose Biden's certification, turning against an effort led by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Defeated the day before by Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock, Loeffler told the Senate that she made the choice because of the riot.
Mitchell, who had begun work the morning before, stayed until Biden's confirmation was completed early Thursday morning. Members of Georgia's Republican House delegation continued to support Trump even after the riot.
In an aside in the Times article, Mitchell mentions seeing Loeffler on the Senate subway as both left the Capitol after the long, stressful day. Even then, Mitchell sought to interview Loeffler, who understandably had nothing more to say.
Mitchell when she began work Wednesday morning didn't realize she'd have to display a war correspondent's valor in the U.S. Capitol. Despite the personal threat, she gave AJC readers essential news about what will be remembered as a dark day in U.S. history.