Graham says Rep. Boebert should sue Democrat for slander over Capitol tour suspicion

Freshman GOP lawmaker said she was just showing her family around the Capitol

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. said Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., should sue a Democratic colleague for slander for accusing her of offering a "large" group tour in the Capitol days ahead of the Jan. 6 riot. 

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said on CNN Monday that he and Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., saw the freshman lawmaker giving a tour sometime between Jan. 3 and Jan. 6. 

The Tennessee Democrat said he and Yarmuth were walking through a Capitol tunnel when he saw Boebert with a "large group." He said he didn’t know if anyone in the group was involved in the riots. 

"These claims are just ridiculous, it's part of a laundry list of conspiracy theories that the Democrats are heavily involved with," Graham said on "America Reports." 

Cohen’s office told CNN he has not reported the observation to the FBI or Capitol Police. 

"Congressman Cohen from Tennessee has been a very destructive voice in all of this. He basically accused every White member of the National Guard of being a Trump supporter that had to be checked out in terms of their ability to defend the Capitol," the South Carolina Republican continued. 

BOEBERT BLASTS COHEN FOR 'IRRESPONSIBLE' CLAIM SHE LED CAPITOL TOUR BEFORE RIOT 

"If I were her, I would sue the guy," Graham said, "for slander and make him give a public apology. I can't think of a worse thing to say about a fellow American than they were in on the effort to defile the Capitol."

More than 30 House Democrats signed a letter last week claiming their Republican colleagues may have aided Capitol rioters by providing them with "reconnaissance" tours of the U.S. Capitol but have yet to flesh out their accusations. Cohen is not one of the original signatories of the letter.

The Capitol is closed to the public due to Covid-19, but Boebert said it was her family that the Democratic lawmakers spied, there to celebrate her swearing-in. 

"I guess having a big family is a scandal now," she wrote on Twitter. "The only people I have ever had in the Capitol with me are my young children, husband, mom, aunt, and uncle."

"All claims of my involvement with the attack on Jan. 6th are categorically false.  These lies are irresponsible & dangerous," she continued. 

Sen. Sergeant at Arms Drew Willison told Fox News' Chad Pergram there are cameras everywhere that would help determine if lawmakers offered "surveillance tours" before the riot. He said such accusations are a "fully loaded charge" and there's been little evidence to support them thus far. 

"It's a fully loaded charge to accuse a different member of an act of treachery of that sort, even if it's speculative," he said, adding that since Jan.3, the start of the new Congress, was a day to celebrate, it wouldn't be unusual for members to give their families a tour. 

Boebert also wrote a letter to Cohen personally blasting his CNN interview. "Your false statements are extraordinarily irresponsible during this period in time," she wrote.

The flamboyant new Republican, who vowed to shake things up in Washington,  was criticized for tweeting "Today is 1776" hours before rioters stormed the Capitol. She also faced backlash for tweeting as rioters were inside the building: "The Speaker has been removed from the chambers." 

Boebert made clear her intent on carrying her Glock with her into the Capitol before coming to Wahington. After multiple Democrat lawmakers expressed concern, metal detectors were installed at the entrance to the House floor.

After Boebert set off the metal detectors, she refused to allow Capitol police to search her bag. "I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex," she asserted on Twitter. "Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi."

Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett wrote a memo saying members are only allowed to have guns in their personal offices. 

Cohen's office could not immediately be reached for comment.