Texas Representative Troy Nehls has accused the U.S. Capitol Police of entering his office taking photos of a confidential legislative proposal.
The freshman congressman said that Capitol officers entered his office in November and photographed the documents without his knowledge.
Two days later on Monday November 22, 2021 (Thanksgiving week), three intelligence officers attempted to enter my office while the House was in recess.
— Congressman Troy Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) February 8, 2022
Nehlssaid they snapped pictures of a draft legislative proposal that would have ensured body armor quality for law enforcement officers. He said Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger indicated they were investigating a “veiled threat” against the congressman, but Nehls said he was never warned of such a risk.
Rep. Nehls released a statement on the disturbing break-in.
“After communicating with Chief Manger, it became clear that my office was under investigation and surveillance by [Capitol Police]. We were the ‘threat.’ If Capitol Police had spent this much time investigating January 6th as they did investigating my private legislative materials, January 6th would not have happened.”
Chief Thomas Manger said it’s policy that if officers see a lawmaker’s office is open without anyone inside, they are “directed to document that and secure the office to ensure nobody can wander in and steal or do anything else nefarious.”
“The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of our vigilant officers spotted the Congressman’s door was wide open,” Manger said. “That Monday, [Capitol Police] 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 in a statement.
Republican lawmakers are also calling for an investigation into reports of Capitol Police “monitoring” lawmakers and citizens. Rep. Andy Biggs along with 33 other lawmakers reportedly wrote a letter to House Speaker Pelosi and House Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren demanding an investigation on “Recent reports state that the Capitol Police are surveilling Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and their Capitol visitors.”
Fox News reports:
“If these reports are true, that the Capitol Police force is actively looking for and reviewing private information, then this is a gross violation of American civil liberties and an abuse of power,” he continued. “I’m calling on Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman Lofgren to do what is best for the American people and look into this troubling report.”
The Republicans wrote that the report revealed the Capitol Police are also “monitoring the online activity of congressional staff and individuals who meet with Members of Congress” and that the force is “reviewing property tax information” to learn the owners of the buildings “where the meetings take place” as well as “reviewing online information to determine if any of the meeting attendees have contacts with foreign nationals.”
“Additionally, Capitol Police were directed to look for information on donors and staff ‘that would cast a member in a negative light,’” the letter reads.
“If true, these allegations are serious violations of Americans’ civil rights and civil liberties,” it continues. “Our constituents have the right to petition Congress and they should be able to exercise this right without fear that Capitol Police will scrutinize their property taxes, social media, or relationships.”