Cohen’s accusation is important as a result of it’s the first time a member of Congress has particularly accused one other member of giving a tour of the Capitol advanced previous to the riot. It comes after a number of Democratic members have recommended that their Republican colleagues could have been offering the excursions as a chance for the would-be rioters to get the lay of the land forward of a deliberate revolt.
“Solely factor that I’ve seen, Congressman Yarmuth refreshed my recollection yesterday. We noticed (Rep.) Boebert taking a gaggle of individuals for a tour someday after the third and earlier than the sixth. I do not keep in mind the day we have been strolling in a tunnel and we noticed her and commented who she was and he or she had a big group along with her. Now whether or not these individuals have been those who have been concerned within the revolt or not, I have no idea,” Cohen advised “CNN Newsroom.”
Cohen continued, “She was a freshman, she may need had a lot of individuals coming to be along with her on this historic event and simply wanting to present them the chance to have a tour. However it’s fairly clear that her staff is the staff — she’s not on the house staff. She was with the guests.”
Boebert despatched a letter to Cohen responding to the allegations he made on CNN, disputing the congressman’s characterization and saying his feedback “repeat irresponsible lies to be able to elevate his personal political relevance and to additional gasoline the division of our nation.”
“Let me be clear—your entire claims and implications are categorically false,” Boebert wrote. “I’ve by no means given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outdoors group. As I beforehand said, I introduced my household to the Capitol on January 2nd for a tour and on the third for photos to commemorate the day I used to be sworn in as a Member of the U.S. Congress. Once more, the one individuals I’ve ever had within the Capitol with me through the 117th Congress are my younger youngsters, husband, mother, aunt and uncle.”
Cohen has not reported his statement to the FBI or Capitol Police, a spokesperson for the congressman advised CNN.
“He was solely reminded of it when he talked to Mr. Yarmuth yesterday,” the spokesperson added.
A spokesperson for Yarmuth confirmed that the congressman recalled seeing a gaggle of individuals with Boebert earlier this month however wouldn’t touch upon who these individuals have been.
“On both January 3 or 4, Congressman Yarmuth was within the Cannon Tunnel going again to his workplace and noticed Congresswoman Boebert strolling within the course of the Capitol,” Yarmuth spokesman Christopher Schuler mentioned in an announcement. “Whereas Congressman Yarmuth remembers there was a gaggle of individuals round Congresswoman Boebert, he has no information of who they have been or in the event that they have been along with her.”
Whereas Cohen is the primary to particularly title Boebert as somebody who could have given the excursions, the rumors surrounding her function within the days main as much as January 6 have been so heated that the congresswoman preemptively denied any wrongdoing. Boebert despatched Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York a letter denying that she gave excursions to insurrectionists after an interview on MSNBC by which Maloney accused Republican members of doing so. Maloney by no means talked about Boebert by title.
“The one individuals I’ve ever had within the Capitol with me are my younger youngsters, husband, mother, aunt and uncle,” Boebert wrote within the letter to Maloney. “My mom was the one a kind of relations in Washington D.C. on the sixth. In the course of the riots, my mom was locked in a safe location, not within the U.S. Capitol, with my employees and by no means left their sight.”
Previous to the pandemic, the general public had wide-ranging entry to the Capitol advanced, together with the tunnels connecting the member workplace buildings to the Capitol itself. The Sergeant at Arms banned all excursions of the Capitol Grounds at first of the pandemic, however members of Congress have been in a position to ignore the steerage. Lawmakers or employees led excursions have by no means needed to register guests with Capitol Police, a regulation enforcement official with direct information of general protocols advised CNN.
Capitol Police and the FBI wouldn’t say on the file if they’re investigating any members of Congress for his or her function within the planning main as much as the revolt. USCP has not responded to CNN’s request for remark about whether or not a tour led by Boebert is one thing they’re trying into.
Nonetheless the exercise of GOP members throughout that week, was sufficient for Democratic members to boost considerations to Capitol Police and the Sergeant at Arms. Their considerations have been loud sufficient that the Capitol Police despatched out a memo on January 4 reiterating the Capitol Hill coverage that banned excursions from the spring and fully shut down the Capitol Constructing on January 6 to solely members and people who had places of work there.
This story has been up to date with extra developments Monday together with a brand new assertion from Boebert’s workplace.
CNN’s Dana Bash and Sarah Westwood contributed to this report.