Fact check: Claim about Rep. Boebert and Jan. 6 insurrection is partly false

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The claim: Lauren Boebert disclosed Pelosi's location during insurrection, led tour beforehand, referenced 1776

Nearly a year into Rep. Lauren Boebert's first term in Congress, critics are pointing to the lawmaker's actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection to argue she is unfit for office.

“She live-tweeted Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts during the armed insurrection,” a viral image claims. The image also claims, “She gave a large tour of the Capitol days before the armed insurrection. She declared it was 1776 the morning of the armed insurrection.”

It goes on to ask, "Why ... is Lauren Boebert still a member of Congress?”

The claims about Boebert tweeting 1776 and leading a tour of the Capitol are mostly in line with the evidence, but the notion that Boebert live-tweeted the speaker’s location is an exaggeration. In one tweet Boebert said the speaker was removed from the House chamber, but she did not say where Pelosi was.

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Political group The Other 98% posted the image to its Facebook and Instagram accounts on Sept. 23. The image received more than 23,000 likes on Instagram by Sept. 30.

The Other 98% later edited its Facebook post to clarify that Boebert did not tweet Pelosi’s exact location during the insurrection. The Instagram post remains posted without clarification as of Oct. 12. USA TODAY reached out to The Other 98% for comment.

People shelter in the House gallery as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
People shelter in the House gallery as rioters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Boebert did not tweet Pelosi's specific whereabouts

At 2:18 p.m. Boebert tweeted, “The Speaker has been removed from the chambers.”

She did not say where Pelosi was taken in the very large building. The Capitol has approximately 540 rooms (108 in the dome alone), five levels and 850 doorways.

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The tweet was the only one from Boebert about Pelosi’s location during the riot.

Several lawmakers later said authorities had instructed sheltered lawmakers not to disclose anyone’s location during the siege.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. who was in the House chamber with Boebert during the insurrection, said in a Jan. 11 tweet, “@laurenboebert was told by the Sergeant of Arms in the chamber to not make any social media posts. It was said repeatedly,” he wrote.

Boebert had also tweeted, “We were locked in the House Chambers.”

In response to the criticism, Boebert issued an statement in which she denounced the violence at and following the riot.

“(Democrats) accuse me of live-tweeting the Speaker’s presence after she had been safely removed from the Capitol, as if I was revealing some big secret, when in fact this removal was also being broadcast on TV."

In March, Rep. Primila Jayapal, D-Wash. filed a complaint about Boebert's actions to the Congressional Ethic's Committee that was ultimately not investigated. In a statement, Boebert called the accusation that she had tweeted Pelosi's location "patently false."

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, expressing opposition to "critical race theory," during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ORG XMIT: DCJM126
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, expressing opposition to "critical race theory," during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ORG XMIT: DCJM126

Boebert did lead a tour ahead of the insurrection and tweet about 1776

The other points in the post are largely accurate.

After an angry mob breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, Boebert came under fire for her behavior before and during the insurrection. Much of the criticism surrounded a tour Boebert gave days before the attack and a tweet Boebert authored hours before the attack.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., and Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., both reported seeing Boebert in a tunnel outside of the Cannon House Office Building giving a group tour days before the attack.

Boebert responded in a letter: “Representative Cohen's claim that he saw me give a reconnaissance tour with people not on the team is 100% false. I have never given any tours of the U.S. Capitol in the 117th Congress to anyone besides family members in town for my swearing in.”

She said she took family members into the Capitol for a tour on Jan. 2 and to take pictures on Jan. 3 – the day she was sworn in.

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The claim that Boebert tweeted Jan. 6 was 1776 is much more straightforward. At 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 6 Boebert tweeted “Today is 1776.”

Our rating: Partly false

Based on our research, we rate PARTLY FALSE the claim that Boebert live-tweeted Pelosi's whereabouts during the insurrection, led a tour beforehand and referenced 1776. During the insurrection, Boebert tweeted that Pelosi had left the House chamber, but she did not specify where Pelosi had gone. Claims that Boebert compared the day to 1776 and was seen giving a tour of the Capitol before the insurrection are correct, though the nature of the tour is disputed.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Rep. Lauren Boebert didn't tweet Pelosi's Jan. 6 location

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