LAREDO, Texas – Long before Raul Salinas was at one time mayor of Laredo and an FBI agent in Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Laredo, he was a young officer with the U.S. Capitol Police.
Back then, Salinas said, he never would have predicted what happened last Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol, where he began his law enforcement career.
“When I saw the images, like every other American, I was sickened and saddened,” Salinas said.
Salinas said he blames what he calls “a sad day for America” on a lack of preparation, coordination and intelligence for the insurrection.
However, the Washington Post has reported the FBI had issued a “stark warning” of a possible “war,” the day before the violence erupted.
“Think somebody definitely fell asleep at the wheel,” Salinas said.
Salinas said as a result of the violence, a Capitol police officer later died of the injuries he sustained that day, and another was almost crushed to death in a doorway.
“Never would I believe that the capitol of the United States would be invaded,” he said.
“These are thugs, criminals,” Salinas said, and not “good people,” as President Trump said following the attack.
Asked what role he believes the president played in the riot, Salinas said, “We cannot have public officials out there inciting riots. We cannot do that. We’re better than that, and that’s un-American.”
Working at the U.S. Capitol during Watergate, Salinas was in the hearing when the first article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon was read.
“I got goosebumps,” Salinas said. Nixon would later resign in disgrace.
Salinas said watching what happened last Wednesday triggered memories of that historic moment.
And now to see the U.S. Capitol under siege, Salinas said, “It makes Richard Nixon look like an altar boy.”