The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) are under fire after the USCP inspector general opened an investigation into allegations that the department illegally broke into the offices of GOP members of Congress, interviewed GOP staffers, and took photos of documents that were protected under congressional rules.
In a Twitter thread, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) alleged that his office was one of several GOP offices that had been illegally entered and searched by the USCP.
🚨BREAKING🚨— Congressman Troy Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) February 8, 2022
The @CapitolPolice Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally and one of my staffers caught them in the act.
“The Capitol Police Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally and one of my staffers caught them in the act,” Nehls opened the thread.
“On November 20th, 2021, Capitol Police entered my office without my knowledge and photographed confidential legislative products protected by the Speech and Debate clause enshrined in the Constitution, Article 1 Section 6,” Nehls continued.
“Two days later on Monday November 22, 2021 (Thanksgiving week), three intelligence officers attempted to enter my office while the House was in recess.”
The USCP, Nehls said, “never informed myself or senior level staff of their investigation and the reasons are clear. They had no authority to photograph my office, let alone investigate myself or members of my staff.
“So, why is the Capitol Police Leadership maliciously investigating me in an attempt to destroy me and my character?”
Nehls suggested an answer to the rhetorical question: “Maybe it is because I have been a vocal critic of [Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)], the January 6th Committee, and [USCP] leadership about their handling of January 6th, the death of Ashli Babbitt and the subsequent SHAM investigation.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) commented on a retweet of the thread, “This must be investigated fully—and there must be consequences. Also—who knew about this, and when did they know it?”
This must be investigated fully – and there must be consequences. Also – who knew about this, and when did they know it? https://t.co/iP3qAcyd71— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) February 8, 2022
The investigation was opened at the request of USCP Chief J. Thomas Manger.
In a letter to seven GOP lawmakers, Manger denied the allegations that the USCP’s search and seizure of documents and other information from Republicans was illegal, but marketed the inspector general investigation as a safeguard.
“While I am confident in our methods, I am asking the USCP Office of the Inspector General to review the USCP’s programs related to these security assessments to assure both this Committee, the Congress as a whole, and the public that these processes are legal, necessary, and appropriate,” Manger wrote.
The request came after Nehls found USCP agents snooping in his office, and Manger’s request likely arose in part from this discovery.
In a statement, Manger defended the actions of the USCP.
Manger wrote, “The United States Capitol Police is sworn to protect Members of Congress. If a Member’s office is left open and unsecured, without anyone inside the office, USCP officers are directed to document that and secure the office to ensure nobody can wander in and steal or do anything else nefarious.
“The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of our vigilant officers spotted the Congressman’s door was wide open. That Monday, USCP personnel personally followed up with the Congressman’s staff and determined no investigation or further action of any kind was needed.
“No case investigation was ever initiated or conducted into the Representative or his staff,” Manger claimed.
By Joseph Lord