Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) on Wednesday requested that the House Committee on Ethics and the Office of Congressional Ethics investigate three House Republicans for “instigating and aiding” the deadly Capitol insurrection earlier this year.
In letters sent to the two groups, Jayapal demands that it “thoroughly investigate” the actions of Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in the weeks and days leading up to the Capitol attack, and to refer any appropriate findings to the Justice Department.
Jayapal outlines a series of examples of the Republican lawmakers’ troubling actions ahead of the Capitol insurrection.
Jayapal wrote that Boebert’s “disinformation campaign” that ultimately led to the armed uprising at the Capitol included the Republican lawmaker tweeting a photo of herself signing an electoral college vote challenge and filming herself carrying a concealed firearm on Capitol grounds.
Jayapal also took note of Brooks’ tweets and remarks to reporters that appeared to encourage violence. Jayapal pointed to Brooks peddling falsehoods of antifa’s involvement in the Capitol attack and his fiery speech hours before at a Trump rally in Washington D.C. on the day of the insurrection.
Additionally, Jayapal pointed to Gosar urging supporters to take action against the joint session of Congress ratifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the weeks and days leading up to the Capitol breach. The congresswoman noted Gosar’s ties to extremist groups, his comments on Steve Bannon’s podcast and radio show when he pushed false claims of a “stolen” election, and his remarks at the Trump rally hours before the Capitol attack encouraging attendees to fight until “Trump is returned to being president.”
Jayapal concluded that the investigations into the Republican lawmakers are “critical for the functioning” of Congress and democracy.
She echoed that sentiment in an interview with CNN, saying that she views the three Republican lawmakers’ actions before the Capitol insurrection as a “clear violation of our ethical standards and our responsibilities as members of Congress.”
“That is what the House Ethics Committee can look at,” Jayapal told CNN. “But I also think that there are other pieces here that are even beyond just service in the House that are federal statutes. And so that’s why we asked for the referrals to the Department of Justice.”
Jayapal added that she still worries about her safety and security within the halls of Congress due to potential threats stemming from fellow members of Congress.
“I still worry about my safety and my security when I’m inside Congress, not just when I leave,” Jaypal told CNN. “And that is very troubling. I’ve only been here for four years, but I’ve not felt that before. And, and I feel it from my colleagues. I don’t know, who my colleagues are engaging with, I don’t know what their role was. And I do think that that is part of the reason these letters are so important.”
Correction: This post initially misstated Rep. Jaypal’s first name.