U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert is tearing into critics who have accused the Rifle Republican of endangering lawmakers by posting about their whereabouts on social media during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"We should take Democrats at their word when they say never let a crisis go to waste," Boebert said in a lengthy statement Monday that denounced last week's violence after first accusing Democrats of hypocrisy for expressing support last summer for protesters demonstrating against racial injustice.
"I refuse to let their political machine write a narrative that millions of Americans know is false.”
The freshman lawmaker argued on the House floor last week against counting Arizona's electoral votes and voted against accepting Pennsylvania's electors. For months, she has repeated unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, including in a tweet Sunday flagged by Twitter as a "disputed" claim alleging election fraud.
In her statement, Boebert also responded to detractors — including lawmakers from both parties — who cite tweets she posted informing her followers that members of Congress were locked in the House chamber and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been evacuated while a mob of Trump supporters was storming the Capitol.
"We were specifically instructed by those protecting us not to tell anyone, including our family, where exactly we were, for reasons that remain obvious," tweeted Hawaiian Democratic U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz Monday night, quoting one of Boebert's tweets.
"So were we in the House," replied U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, who had earlier exchanged testy tweets with Boebert. "@laurenboebert was told by the Sergeant of Arms in the chamber to not make any social media posts. It was said repeatedly. She defied it because she is more closely aligned with the terrorists than the patriots."
Earlier Monday, Swalwell called Boebert a "Coup Klux Klan member" and accused her of giving "her terrorist friends the location of a woman second in line to the presidency during an attack on the Capitol."
Two of Boebert's Republican colleagues, U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Nancy Mace of South Carolina, also "raised concerns" during a GOP conference call Monday that Boebert might have jeopardized lawmakers' safety by tweeting the locations during the lockdown, The Hill reported.
Complaining that "once again, their false attacks go unchallenged," Boebert dismissed the accusations, arguing that it wasn't "as if I was revealing some big secret, when in fact this removal was also being broadcast on TV."
Responding to a tweet Swalwell posted Sunday suggesting that she exercise "the right to remain silent," just "like any citizen who has committed a crime," Boebert asked: "Did you give the same legal advice to Fang Fang?"
Boebert was referring to a suspected Chinese spy who allegedly attempted to get close to young California politicians nearly a decade ago, including Swalwell, who was a city councilman when they met. Swalwell, who hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing, cut off contact with Fang as soon as the FBI warned him of their suspicions.
Democrats and progressive groups have been agitating for Boebert to resign or be expelled from the House over her tweets during the Capitol siege and her vocal support for overturning Joe Biden's election.
“If Lauren Boebert were a true patriot as she claimed to be, she would respect the peaceful transfer of power that is a signature part of our Constitution, end her continued peddling of conspiracy theories, and get to work for her constituents," said Morgan Carroll, Colorado Democratic Party chair, in a statement Monday. "If she will not, Lauren Boebert should immediately resign.”
Boebert condemned the Capitol rioters in a video posted online Friday but also claimed they weren't really "conservatives" and compared the rampage to riots last summer that surrounded protests spurred by the death of George Floyd last summer.
Attached to her Monday statement, Boebert cited more than a dozen instances she said demonstrate that "leading Democrats and Hollywood elites have encouraged mob violence to achieve their political goals," including then-presidential candidate Barack Obama urging supporters to "talk to your friends and neighbors (and) argue with them and get in their face." She also listed outrageous quotes aimed at Trump from actors Robert DeNiro and Johnny Depp and singer Madonna.
Also on Boebert's list were remarks by several Democratic lawmakers: U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters telling Trump opponents to harass cabinet members at restaurants, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker suggesting supporters "get up in the face of some congresspeople" and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine calling on the administration's critics to "fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box."
House Democrats are moving to impeach Trump if his vice president and cabinet don't force him from office first, charging the president ginned up a mob to overtake the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from making Biden's win official.
A Capitol police officer died after he was beaten with a fire extinguisher during the riot, and police shot a woman during the melee. Three other people died during the attack from medical emergencies.