Colorado Lawmaker Named In Request To Investigate Ties To Capitol Attackers
A Western lawmaker faces growing scrutiny over her potential role in the Capitol insurrection.
Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and two other Republican lawmakers could become the subjects of congressional investigations after Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-WA, filed requests March 10 with the House Committee on Ethics and the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Jayapal is urging those bodies to investigate the freshman lawmaker along with Republican Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Paul Gosar of Arizona for "instigating and aiding the violent riot" that left five people dead on Jan. 6.
"Representative Boebert endangered fellow Members' lives and pursued a disinformation campaign related to the election results that resulted in an armed uprising," Jayapal wrote.
Jayapal cited Boebert's tweets on the morning of the insurrection, such as one that said, "Today is 1776." Jayapal says that phrase was used by insurrectionists that stormed the Capitol. Boebert also tweeted the movements of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Jayapal wrote, a move that has drawn sharp criticism from multiple lawmakers.
Boebert's social media posts weeks leading up to the riot contributed to the deadly chaos, too, the letters alleged.
"She utilized language that encouraged violence in and around the Capitol," Jayapal wrote, referring to another Tweet from Boebert: "I prefer to speak loudly and carry a Glock."
Jayapal pointed to Boebert's ad released Jan. 3 declaring she would carry a firearm around the nation's capital as another tool of provocation. (Most recently, Boebert released an attack ad against Pelosi that concludes with the sound of a gunshot.)
The first-term Colorado lawmaker's ties to extremists linked to the insurrection have increasingly been in the spotlight following the attack.
"What makes this moment so extraordinary is we know that a number of lawmakers, including the three named by Rep. Jayapal, have connections to people who were part of the insurrection," said historian Jeremi Suri, the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at University of Texas at Austin.
Boebert is associated with the anti-government, far-right militia movement the Three Percenters, which has been linked to the riot. She has been photographed and captured in a video with people who appear to be part of that movement. Jayapal pointed out that one person affiliated with the Three Percenters who has since been arrested for his role in the insurrection was photographed outside Boebert's Rifle, Colorado restaurant.
Suri emphasized that Boebert refuses to renounce extremist groups involved in the attack.
"We have not had any other case in our history where members of Congress were directly connected to a group that attacked the Capitol building itself in this way," he said.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.