Colorado’s Lauren Boebert denounces violence at U.S. Capitol amid calls to resign

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert said Monday night that she doesn’t condone the violence that happened during last week’s Capitol riot, but criticized Democrats who’ve called for her to resign from the seat she’s held for a week.

In a statement, the Republican said Democrats are falsely attacking her for tweeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location during the riot, saying, “we should take Democrats at their word when they say never let a crisis go to waste.” She also said that the Democrats “act as though a reference to the founding of our country and the bravery of upholding our Constitutional oath is criminal, which says a whole lot more about them than it does about me or any other Republican.”

An incoming Colorado state representative, Republican Ron Hanks of Fremont County, was one of about a dozen lawmakers from at least nine states last week who marched to the U.S. Capitol to support overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win. Only one lawmaker was known to have gotten inside the Capitol and since was charged with a crime and resigned. Others have said they participated peacefully.

Hanks told a local radio station last week that he arrived for President Donald Trump’s rally at the Ellipse outside the White House early that Wednesday morning. During that rally, the president used the occasion to urge supporters to “fight like hell.”

Hanks said he marched with supporters to the U.S. Capitol afterward. “I was a little surprised to see people already on the scaffolding, with the Trump flag, and so forth,” he told Heart of the Rockies Radio.

“From the standpoint of the violence, two of us went around to the back of building, which is where the next meeting was supposed to form up,” he said, “and by that time people had already entered the building.”

Hanks didn’t immediately respond to voicemail seeking comment. Incoming Colorado House Speaker Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, and incoming House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, a Loveland Republican, said Tuesday morning that they would comment shortly.

West Virginia state Sen. Mike Azinger said in a radio interview Monday that the crowds loyal to Trump were “inspiring and patriotic” and hopes Trump “calls us back.”

“I think the president laid out the point of the mission,” he added, speaking to West Virginia Metro News. “It was to pressure the Republican congressmen to challenge the electoral votes.”

The FBI is warning of the threat of armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, prompting heightened security.

Azinger blamed far-left elements on social media for distorting what was “a quintessentially American” display of the First Amendment on Jan. 6. The Associated Press has reported that more than 120 people either facing criminal charges or who were identified at the riots are fervent Trump fans, not left-wing activists.

“I’ve got people on Facebook, sending a picture of me with my boys outside the Capitol. They’re sending it to the FBI to try to get me put in handcuffs,” Azinger said, without elaborating.

West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans resigned last Saturday, a day after federal prosecutors charged him with entering the U.S. Capitol. He had livestreamed himself with a mob of Trump supporters. His resignation letter said he took full responsibility for his actions and that he regretted “any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused.”

If convicted, he faces up to a year and a half in federal prison for two misdemeanor charges of entering a restricted area and disorderly conduct.

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