Following the Jan. 6, 2021 incident, Republican legislators are criticizing Democratic leadership for politicizing the position of Capitol Police. Several Republican lawmakers wrote to Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton last week to express their dissatisfaction with Capitol security as a result of rules enacted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
According to the Washington Examiner, “apparently isolated incidents that have occurred across campus have greatly increased member hesitation and diminished trust in the leadership of Capitol security,” wrote House Administration Committee ranking member Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Reps. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., and Bryan Steil, R-Wis.
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Republicans are concerned about post-January 6 developments such as the placement of metal detectors outside the House floor and the purported interrogation of a staff worker regarding legislative notes scrawled on a whiteboard.
“Here’s my concern: Speaker Pelosi is continuing to politicize the security infrastructure of the United States Capitol,” Steil told reporters last week, according to the Examiner. “We absolutely support the Capitol Police officers, but we’re concerned about some of the leadership decisions we’re witnessing.”
Capitol security agents stationed near the security checkpoints checked members and reported those who did not follow the guidelines. Capitol Police have stated that anybody who failed to cooperate with the mask order would be arrested.
Although the mask requirement remains official policy, personnel and visitors are frequently seen without masks in House buildings without issue, according to the Examiner. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., were each penalized more than $100,000 for violating the rules.
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Some House members have expressed concerns that they are being watched or regarded as violent culprits. Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, accused a Capitol police officer of breaking into his office the Saturday before Thanksgiving last year and photographing secret legislative materials. According to the Examiner, the officer submitted a complaint stating that a whiteboard included references to “body armor” and a diagram of a House office building with a “X” at an entrance.
The following Monday, “special operatives disguised like construction workers” came to Nehls’ workplace and questioned a staff member about the contents of the photo, according to Nehls.
According to Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, the officer performed a security check because the door was left open, and “no case investigation was ever opened or undertaken into the Representative or his staff.”
“Why me, is the true question. Why should I?” The Examiner was informed by Nehls. “I’ve probably been the most vociferous critic of January 6.” Nehls went on to say that rioter Ashli Babbitt was “murdered” on Jan. 6 and questioned the investigation of the cop who shot her, Lt. Michael Byrd. Last month, Politico reported that Capitol Police had began probing the public backgrounds.