The inspector general for the U.S. Capitol Police has agreed to investigate claims by a GOP lawmaker that several officers illegally searched his office in November.
The inspector general agreed to take up the investigation at the request of the Capitol Police, according to The Hill. Police Chief Tom Manger said the investigation is necessary to “assure both this Committee, the Congress as a whole, and the public that these processes are legal, necessary, and appropriate.”
“The USCP does not conduct any ‘insider threats’-related surveillance or intelligence gathering on Members, staff, or visitors to the Capitol Complex,” he said.
Freshman Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) accused Capitol Police on Tuesday of illegally investigating his office and “photograph[ing] confidential legislative products.” The U.S. Capitol Police pushed back against Nehls claims in a statement by Manger.
“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 said. USCP “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.”
Nehls made his complaint against the police public in a twitter thread, accusing three officers of the Capitol Police Intelligence Division of entering his office and searching his records illegally. One of Nehls staffers caught the officers in his office, according to the congressman. Nehls said:
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.
Two days later on Monday November 22, 2021 (Thanksgiving week), three intelligence officers attempted to enter my office while the House was in recess.
Upon discovering a member of my staff, special agents dressed like construction workers began to question him as to the contents of a photograph taken illegally two days earlier.
.@CapitolPolice 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?
Maybe it is because I have been a vocal critic of @SpeakerPelosi, the @January6thCmte, and @CapitolPolice leadership about their handling of January 6th, the death of Ashli Babbitt and the subsequent SHAM investigation.
Tensions between the Capitol Police and GOP lawmakers have grown recently since the publication of a January 24 story in Politico reporting that “Capitol Police’s intelligence unit quietly started scrutinizing the backgrounds of people who meet with lawmakers.”
After the report dropped, Republicans began raising questions over the practices of the Capitol Police. The USCP denied the substance of the Politico report, saying that the story contained “inaccurate facts, misleading information, and unsupported conclusions,” according to The Hill.