The U.S. Capitol Police is hiring its own criminal prosecutor, in what observers say is an unprecedented politicization of law enforcement that could pose serious constitutional problems.
A job ad describes the position as “a Special Assistant United States Attorney located in USCP District Offices in Washington, DC,” and states that it reports to the USCP Deputy and General Counsel. But it also says the successful candidate will work “under the direct supervision and authority” of the Washington U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“This position is to represent the United States Government primarily prosecuting individuals and/or groups who have engaged in threats and/or acts of violence against Members of Congress, their staffs, United States Capitol Police employees, visitors to the Capitol complex, and facilities and properties within the Capitol Complex,” the ad continues.
The prosecutor would work on cases stemming from the January 6 riot, but the arrangement would also mean someone working for Congressional leadership could have a role in deciding whether to prosecute congressmen or their aides for corruption scandals.
“Work may involve problems of unusual delicacy, such as allegations of wrongdoing against staff or members of Congress, criminal trespass, investigations of threats or crimes against Members of Congress and arresting or detaining high-profile individuals,” the posting for the job, which pays $145,000 to $186,00 per year, says.
Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project and former Chief Counsel for Nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee and law clerk to Justice Neil Gorsuch, said federal prosecutors can only work for the Executive Branch.
“It is clearly unconstitutional for Congress to have federal prosecutors on its payroll and working for them,” Davis told The Daily Wire. “It violates the separation of powers. Federal prosecutors work for the president and the executive branch, and every prosecution by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s army of prosecutors is subject to serious constitutional challenge and reversal by the Supreme Court.”
A Capitol Police spokesperson told The Daily Wire that the scheme was not put forward by Congress.
“This idea did not come from any Member of Congress, to include any Congressional leaders,” the spokesperson said. “Hiring a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney will give the Department, which has a constitutional duty to protect Congress and the Capitol Complex, a prosecutor who will work for the Department of Justice, but will also be an expert in the way we work and the types of unique threat cases we have.”
The Capitol Police are overseen by a three-person board consisting of the Sergeants-at-Arms, which are nominated by the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader, and the Architect of the Capitol, which is nominated by the President after candidates are recommended by Congress.
Spokesmen for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did not immediately return requests for comment, nor did a spokesman for Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Following the January 6, 2021 riot, both sergeants-at-arms and the police chief resigned after Schumer and Pelosi called for their firings. “If Senate Sergeant at Arms [Michael] Stenger hasn’t vacated his position by then, I will fire him as soon as Democrats have a majority in the Senate,” Schumer said.
Since then, Capitol Police have exerted far more authority. Visitors to the Capitol were required to provide identification and be escorted by staff.
Hundreds were prosecuted for crimes such as trespassing on January 6, though prosecutors declined to charge other offenses, including alleged vandalism of Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office and the unauthorized presence of a film crew from leftist comedian Stephen Colbert.
Davis said “It’s not believable that the Capitol Police chief went rogue and set up this unconstitutional prosecutor army without input from the Capitol Police Board controlled by Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer. If he did, he must resign.” He noted that in a reversal of the norm, not only would a prosecutor be reporting to Congress, he would also be working for the police.
“It a very dangerous precedent for prosecutors to work for police instead of the other way around,” he said. “This is a desperate power grab by Pelosi and Schumer to keep their bogus January 6 narrative going forever. Speaker Pelosi has turned the people’s house into a political fortress for Democrats. She’s politicized and weaponized the Capitol Police, and now she’s trying to do the same for federal prosecutors. President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer need to back down immediately from this boneheaded decision before the courts shut it down for them.”
“Why is the US Attorney of DC going along with it?” he asked. “The Biden administration has already sent the full force of the government at every grandma on January 6, while not prosecuting people harassing Supreme Court justices. “
The Capitol Police said that some other agencies have Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Davis said in addition to those being from the executive branch, “SAUSA units, they have them at military bases, but they just come in and run their own dockets with very little oversight from the USAO… these prosecutors are being paid by the Congress so they’ll do whatever they want.”
Paul Kaminar, an attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative-leaning watchdog group that specializes in congressional oversight, said “The offering of a position for Special Assistant US Attorney in the Capitol Police office is very unusual and may not be legal. SAUSAs are appointed by DOJ, not the legislative branch.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee and former judge, told The Daily Wire that the politicization of Capitol law enforcement could come back to bite Democrats.
“Since Democrats are moving us ever closer to a Soviet style government, what could be better than having people doing a Speaker’s bidding to inflame, entice, entrap, jail, prosecute, and punish? The pieces are falling into place since she already has a DC Gulag… But she is going to have to hurry to get it all set up for the Republican Speaker to use against corruption by any prior Speaker,” he said.