One Texas Republican Congressman said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that his office has been “illegally” investigated by the Capitol Police.
In a Twitter post, Congressman Troy Nehls slammed Capitol Police after they allegedly entered his office illegally nearly three months ago. Nehls said in his tweets that the police first entered his office on Nov. 20 and then later attempted to enter his office on Nov. 22, where they encountered one of Nehls’ staff members.
Here’s what Nehls said in his Twitter post:
The @CapitolPolice Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally, and one of my staffers caught them in the act.
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.
In a different statement issued by Nehls, he said that it’s not about his office was entered legally, but whether the officer took a picture of private congressional material protected under law.
“Somebody in the Capitol Police took a picture of the whiteboard, shared it with the command center, who shared it with a special agent, who shared it with another supervisor who then had three guys show up at my office,” Nehls told reporters outside the House floor before a vote. “All I’m asking is let’s see the photo that they took.”
The @CapitolPolice Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally and one of my staffers caught them in the act.
— Congressman Troy Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) February 8, 2022
In a separate statement released Tuesday evening, Nehls said Manger mischaracterized the events and omitted details, and that he looked forward to an Office of Inspector General investigation into the matter.
“In what world does Capitol Police leadership encourage officers to enter a Member’s private office, take photographs, collect evidence, dispatch intelligence agents to question staff — and then say that’s not an investigation?” Nehls said in the statement.
I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police barricading entrance to our sacred House chamber, while trying to calm the situation talking to protestors.
What I’m witnessing is a disgrace. We’re better than this. Violence is NEVER the answer.
Law and order! pic.twitter.com/SgN2F8YGIS
— Troy Nehls (@SheriffTNehls) January 6, 2021
National Pulse reported:
Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger confirmed the Inspector General has now opened an investigation after receiving multiple congressional inquiries into the Capitol Police tactics, such as those reported by Politico. Capitol Police intelligence analysts have also raised concerns to the inspector general over the department’s practice.
Politico also added:
Several Capitol Police intelligence analysts have already raised concerns about the practice to the department’s inspector general, according to one of the people who spoke for this story.
The Capitol Police, in a statement, defended the practice of searching for public information about people meeting with lawmakers and said the department coordinates the work with members’ offices.
Major changes in the Capitol Police intelligence unit started in the fall of 2020 when the department brought on former Department of Homeland Security official Julie Farnam to help run its intelligence unit, which is housed in its Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division. In the weeks before the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Farnam made a host of changes to internal intelligence protocols that “caused internal confusion” and “scrambled the priorities” of the unit’s analysts, according to CNN.