Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., sent a request to Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger to preserve records associated with investigations into members of Congress. The proposal comes after a Republican lawmaker accused Capitol Police of entering his office illegally and snapping photos of legislative documents.
“Please accept this demand for preservation of documents regarding investigations or investigative activities the United States Capitol Police have engaged in regarding members of Congress,” the letter reads. “Specifically, the undersigned demand that you preserve all records (including, but not limited to, photographs, documents, recordings, digital images, transcripts, or legislative work products) taken from or of the offices of members of Congress during the 117th Congress.”
According to Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, Capitol Police entered his office without his consent and photographed confidential legislative documents. Subsequently, three officers, not uniformed, reportedly attempted to enter Nehls’ office again a few days afterwards and proceeded to interrogate a member of his staff about the photographs taken prior.
“They had no authority to photograph my office, let alone investigate myself or members of my staff,” Nehls wrote on Twitter, announcing what occurred last November. “So, why is the Capitol Police Leadership maliciously investigating me in an attempt to destroy me and my character?”
During an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Nehls insisted his criticism of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Jan. 6 Committee, and Capitol Police, prompted Pelosi to “weaponize” law enforcement against him.
“I’ve exposed [Jan. 6] and I’ve been very vocal about it. I’ve been vocal, too, even on your program a few months back about the death of Ashli Babbitt and questioning why Lt. Byrd’s investigation did not go to a grand jury,” Nehls said. “So this really doesn’t surprise me. Quite honestly, I’m being targeted right now. And I believe that Nancy Pelosi is weaponizing the U.S. Capitol Police to investigate me, to try to silence me, intimidate me, and quite honestly, to destroy me.”
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger denied the allegations led by Nehls and instead claimed his officer was responding to an “open and unsecured” office.
“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,” Manger declared in a press release.
Nonetheless, the Capitol Police have come under scrutiny for their alleged practice of surveilling members of Congress. A group of Republicans led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., sent a letter soliciting Pelosi and Committee on House Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., to investigate those practices.
Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., were amongst the 26 Republicans to sign Gaetz’s petition.