Editorial: Lauren Boebert’s role in the insurrection must also be investigated
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s words and actions before, during and after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol were dangerous.
We can say with certainty that her words on Twitter, in interviews and on the floor of the U.S. House supported the lie that the U.S. election was fraudulent and that Democrats were stealing the election from President Donald Trump. Without those lies, we believe there would not have been an insurrection, and U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick would still be alive.
One week after the attack, 232 members of Congress, including 10 Republicans and four Colorado Democrats, voted to impeach Trump on a single count of “inciting an insurrection.” Did Boebert play a role in inciting the insurrection? The case isn’t nearly as clear cut as the one against the president. Just as the Senate will investigate to determine whether Trump should never again be able to run for president, so too must the House investigate whether Boebert should be expelled or censured for her role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Colorado’s Reps. Diana DeGette and Joe Neguse served as impeachment managers in a case that had prima facie evidence: Trump spent weeks convincing Americans the election was rigged by Democrats; called his supporters to Washington, D.C., to protest, and then orchestrated a long rally before ordering them to “fight like hell” and march to the U.S. Capitol at the very moment Electoral College votes were being tallied. Reps. DeGette, Neguse, Ed Perlmutter and Jason Crow supported impeachment.
Reps. Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Lauren Boebert opposed. But Buck made an important distinction in his opposition to impeachment, condemning the process and saying it will only further enrage those who support Trump, but also saying he disagrees with Trump’s rhetoric during his Jan. 6 speech. Boebert and Lamborn defended the president’s speech as appropriate given that once in a speech of about 11,000 words he said the march would be peaceful and patriotic.
The question is whether Boebert violated the 14th Amendment, which prohibits anyone from holding federal office who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Her words in public fall short of calling for insurrection, although her live tweets about the secure location of House members during the attack — “We were locked in the House Chambers” she wrote followed shortly by “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers” — do raise questions.
Boebert has repeatedly said that was not her intent, pointing out that news outlets also were reporting the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We were unable to find instances of where that occurred, but others’ bad behavior doesn’t excuse her bad behavior or explain the strange tweets. Other members of the House have said that they were specifically instructed not to share their location in the building.
Boebert has issued statements saying she denounced the violence of Jan. 6, but she refuses to back off her charge that the U.S. election was stolen. Boebert’s rhetoric leading up to the attack advocated extreme measures to stop what she described as “winning an election through fraud” and “overthrowing the election.”
“Listening to @realDonaldTrump and @MariaBartiromo right now. There is no way that anyone can call the 2020 presidential election fair. We have to make it right.” Boebert tweeted on Nov. 29.
On Jan. 2 she wrote: “Great words with President Trump tonight. Get ready, y’all!”
Two days before the insurrection she wrote: “Remember these next 48 hours. These are some of the most important days in American history.”
On the day of the insurrection, she wrote: “Today is 1776.”
In 1776, many of this nation’s founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. That preliminary founding of the nation is what Boebert later clarified she was referring to, however, the Revolutionary War was already raging in 1776, and we could see how those who believed Boebert that the election was being stolen could have also believed she was referring to a revolution, not a declaration.
“Hillary must be pissed it took the DNC until 2020 to successfully rig an election,” she tweeted on Jan. 9.
Boebert is using her office to damage the U.S. We can’t imagine that’s what her constituents had in mind when they elected her just a few months ago. Coloradans — especially her constituents — need definitive answers about whether she was a hapless victim of Trump’s actions or whether she was a participant in an effort to prevent the peaceful transition of power.
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