Washington

Rep. Lauren Boebert fires back after Rep. Steve Cohen says she led Capitol tour before riot


Newly elected Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert on Monday blasted Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen’s allegation that she led a tour through the U.S. Capitol just days before the Jan. 6 riot.

Mr. Cohen alleged on CNN that he and Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky witnessed Ms. Boebert leading a “large group” through the Capitol complex days before Trump supporters violently stormed it and temporarily halted the certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s Electoral College win.

“We saw Congresswoman Boebert taking people for a tour sometime after the 3rd and before the 6th,” said Mr. Cohen, Tennessee Democrat. “I don’t remember the day. We were walking in a tunnel, and we saw her and commented who she was, and she had a large group with her. Now, whether these people were people that were involved in the insurrection or not, I do not know.

“She was a freshman, she might have had a large number of people coming to be with her on this historic occasion and just wanting to give them the opportunity to have a tour,” he added. “But it is pretty clear that her team is the team — she’s not on the home team. She was with the visitors.”

Pressed by CNN’s Jim Sciutto whether he knew if any of the people with Ms. Boebert had attended the riot, the congressman responded, “I do not.”

Mr. Cohen has not reported his observation to the FBI or Capitol Police, a spokesperson for the congressman told CNN.

Ms. Boebert, Colorado Republican, sent a letter to Mr. Cohen calling his allegation “categorically false.”

“Let me be clear — All of your claims and implications are categorically false,” she wrote. “I have never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group. As I previously stated, I brought my family to the Capitol on January 2nd for a tour and on the 3rd for pictures to commemorate the day I was sworn in as a Member of the U.S. Congress. Again, the only people I have ever had in the Capitol with me in the 117th Congress are my young children, husband, mom, aunt and uncle.”

“As Members of Congress, we have a duty to elevate the discourse and unify during times of crisis,” she added in a separate statement. “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.”

Mr. Cohen is the first to specifically name Ms. Boebert after Rep. Mikie Sherrill, New Jersey Democrat, claimed without evidence last week that Republican lawmakers had given “reconnaissance” tours prior to the Jan. 6 riot.

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