- The Washington Times - Friday, April 16, 2021

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, on Friday asked the House Ethics Committee to dismiss Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s complaint against her, accusing the Washington Democrat of abusing the process with “baseless and partisan” allegations stemming from the U.S. Capitol riot.

In an 11-page letter to the panel, Ms. Boebert denied Ms. Jayapal’s claims, including that she was involved in “aiding and instigating” the Jan. 6 unrest at the Capitol; that she disclosed the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and that she “encouraged violence” by making it known she would carry a handgun in Washington, D.C.

She said her letter came in response to a March 18 request for information from the committee, indicating that the panel is investigating the March 10 complaint filed by Ms. Jayapal, who also submitted ethics complaints against Republican Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Paul Gosar of Arizona.

“Today, I thoroughly responded to Rep. Jayapal’s baseless Ethics complaint that I violated House Rule XXIII, clause 1,” said Ms. Boebert in a statement. “It is wrong to have Members of Congress, like Rep. Jayapal, repeatedly abusing the formal ethics investigation process to advance false, politically motivated attacks without any evidence.”

In her complaint, Ms. Jayapal said that Ms. Boebert “endangered fellow Members’ lives and pursued a disinformation campaign related to the election results that resulted in an armed uprising,” such by tweeting “Today is 1776” on Jan. 6, before the rioting.

Ms. Boebert countered that she frequently refers to 1776 out of reverence for the U.S. founding, and that on the same day she also denounced the violence. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died after a mob stormed the building as lawmakers moved to certify the 2020 presidential election results.

Ms. Boebert was one of more than 100 House Republicans who objected to the Electoral College count in Arizona and Pennsylvania, but she pointed out that Ms. Jayapal herself raised an objection to the count in Georgia in 2017.

The first-term Republican disputed the allegation that she revealed Ms. Pelosi’s whereabouts by tweeting, “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers,” noting that other lawmakers were tweeting status reports during the upheaval.

“I did not share the location of Speaker Pelosi while she was in the Chamber, after she left, or at any other time,” said Ms. Boebert. “The Complaint’s allegation that I shared the location of Speaker Nancy Pelosi is false.”

Ms. Jayapal alleged that the Republican “maintained close ties to known extremist groups,” citing photos during a gun rally with members of the Three Percenters, but Ms. Boebert said that like all candidates, she poses for thousands of pictures on the campaign trail with people she doesn’t know.

“I have condemned all forms of political violence and have repeatedly made clear that those who stormed the U.S. Capitol should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Ms. Boebert said. “I have never had nor do I have any ties to extremist groups present at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.”

Ms. Jayapal said that the Republican “encouraged violence” with statements such as “I prefer to speak loudly and carry a Glock,” as well as her Jan. 3 ad saying that she would bring a handgun in the Capitol.

In response, Ms. Boebert said she was issued a concealed-carry permit by Metropolitan police, and that she never indicated she planned to violate the District’s open-carry ban.

“Nothing in my video supports or encourages violence,” said Ms. Boebert. “Again, to claim that my communications to constituents and the general public supporting the Second Amendment should be restricted is outrageous.”

Clause 1 of House Rule XXIII says that lawmakers must conduct themselves “in a manner that reflects credibly” on the House.

Last year, the ethics committee admonished Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, under the same rule for a tweet hinting that he would tell former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s wife about her husband’s “girlfriends.” He later deleted the tweet and said he had not intended to threaten Mr. Cohen.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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