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Republican lawmaker responds to allegations of hosting 'recon' tours of the Capitol

A closer look at images circulating on social media of one member hosting a group reveals the photos are more than a year old and were not taken in Washington.

WASHINGTON — More than 30 Democratic members of Congress are demanding an investigation into their suspicions that some Republican members assisted in what amounted to reconnaissance tours that may have helped insurrectionists plan their attacks on the Capitol. 

A letter written to investigators does not single out any alleged collaborators, but social media has erupted with allegations against a number of Republican members, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R- CO). She has been targeted on social media platforms for allegedly hosting tours of the Capitol prior to Wednesday’s violent insurrection. But she denies doing anything of the sort. 

A Verify investigation by KUSA9 in Denver found that photos circulating online depicting Boebert with guests apparently on a tour were actually taken at Colorado’s Capitol in December of 2019. 

Boebert, a staunch Trump ally and gun rights advocate, says she has not hosted any guests in the U.S. Capitol beside her family members.

"Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, I have not given any Capitol tours except to show my children around where I'll be working while I'm away from home," she said in a statement. 

The concerned Democrats, many of whom are veterans with security training, say they witnessed unusual groups of people "milling" around the Capitol complex corridors in the days before the attack despite a prohibition on tours due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger is among the witnesses.

"In the lead up to Jan. 6, what I witnessed was members of the public,people who had no business being in the Capitol during the shutdowns, milling about in the office buildings," Spanberger said. "The way that these individuals would have entered the Capitol in the first place would have been with a member of Congress making that possible.”

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill called the tours “a reconnaissance for the next day” and said members who hosted them “abetted” the attack.

The 30 Democrats are demanding that Capitol Police review visitor logs and security video to see if any of the visitors can be linked to the attack and determine which Member of Congress may have let them in for tours and why.

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