Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said Monday that he recalled seeing Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) leading a large tour in the days before the January 6 insurrection.
“We saw Congressman [sic] Boebert taking a group of people for a tour sometime after the 3rd and before the 6th,” he said on CNN, later describing it as a “large group.”
He acknowledged that he did not know why the group was there, mentioning that as a brand new member of Congress, she may have wanted to show people around. He added that he had no evidence that any members of the tour participated in the insurrection a few days later.
“It’s pretty clear that her team — she’s not on the home team, she was with the visitors,” Cohen added, referencing those who ransacked the Capitol.
Rep. Cohen says he saw Rep. Boebert giving a large tour sometime after January 3rd but before the 6th. Adds that he does not know that any of the members of that tour group were part of the insurrection. pic.twitter.com/RCCjOViEKy
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 18, 2021
Boebert’s told TPM that she has only given a tour to her family members for her swearing in.
“Representative Cohen’s claim that he saw me give a reconnaissance tour with people not on the team is 100% false. I have never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to anyone besides family members in town for my swearing in,” she said.
“As Members of Congress, we have a duty to elevate the discourse and unify during times of crisis,” she added. “Unfortunately, Rep. Cohen instead chose to go on CNN today to repeat irresponsible lies in order to elevate his own political relevance and to further fuel the division of our country.”
Some Democrats, including Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), have made claims that Republican lawmakers must have helped the rioters know where to go within the Capitol complex, given the hard-to-find offices they breached. Members’ Capitol tours, a rarity in COVID-19 times, have thus attracted suspicion as a possible opportunity for reconnaissance.
Though Boebert has only been in office for a few weeks, she’s already attracted significant attention. Her communications director quit in his first week, citing the events on January 6.
She also took on heavy criticism for tweeting that Pelosi had been removed from the House chamber during the insurrection. Before that, she cut an ad pledging to carry her gun with her for personal protection in D.C., prompting a response from the acting police chief.
Boebert has staked out a spot for herself on the far right wing of the Republican party, also decrying the installation of metal detectors in the Capitol since it curtails her ability to carry a gun.
This post has been updated with Rep. Boebert’s response.