On the night Dec. 12, 2020, the day before the first Stop the Steal rally was held in Washington, and three weeks prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection insurrection in Washington, Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), invited several guests to receive an exclusive after-hours tour through the Capitol building by the far-right firebrand.
There are many unanswered questions regarding this visit. It appears that it violated various aspects of Capitol protocol. Boebert, who was not yet a member or official in D.C., is not the one to be credited with authorizing it. It is even more bizarre that the attack occurred on Saturday night, when Capitol complex was closed. In the days following the Jan. 6 attack Boebert denied that she had offered “reconnaissance tour” to would be rioters. However, her vague comments seemed to avoid any discussion about the unexplained December tour.
Salon has reviewed materials and found that the December 12th tour was led by Boebert. It included the Capitol complex’s staircase, empty Brumidi Corridors, Senate Room S-127, and the Senate briefing area, as well the vacant Capitol Rotunda.
Boebert’s teenage son and mother were accompanied by a Capitol Police officer in a mask to the observation deck at Capitol Dome. A fourth person took the photo, which was likely taken by Boebert. This is the culmination to any Capitol tour. It’s only open to members of Congress who host visitors. The climb up the 300-step staircase to the top of the Capitol Dome requires a lot of effort.
As you can see in the photos, Boebert’s guests clearly enjoyed themselves. It is not clear what the reason for their presence on Capitol Police’s observation deck with Boebert and another officer. As mentioned above, the rules for observation deck tours stipulate that a member of Congress and an official guide must accompany each group that climbs the Capitol Dome. It is not clear if either a guide or a member of Congress was present at this event.
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There are only eight spots available for these tours, so reservations are required. Boebert was, in fact, a member-elect at that time. However, this distinction is important. She was certainly not a sworn Member of Congress and did not have any office, staff, or official status within the Capitol complex. Even more bizarre is the fact that the tour was held on Saturday night. The guidelines for member-led Capitol tours state they are only available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and also that all visitors must sign liability waivers and all tours must be led by official Capitol guides, not Capitol Police officers.
Salon requested comment from the U.S. Capitol Police but they didn’t immediately respond.