Texas Republican Rep. Troy E Nehls said on Tuesday the U.S. Capitol Inspector General of Police has opened an investigation into accusations that one of his officers surreptitiously took photos in his office. .
“This goes far beyond an unethical entry into my office by Capitol Police,” Mr. Nehls said in a statement. He said it was a “violation of the members’ right to speak and debate, as well as a violation of the 4th Amendment.”
He added: ‘Can you imagine leaving your front door unlocked and having the police come into your private home, take photos of the interior and then start an investigation based on those photos?’
The representative accused Capitol police of trying to exact revenge on him after he criticized them for the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 riots.
“Capitol Police leaders have put a target on my back, but my work to expose the January 6 security breaches, the death of Ms. Babbitt, and the bogus investigation into the events of January 6 will not be deterred. “, Mr. Nehls said.
Meanwhile, Capitol police have denied his charges.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said, “The United States Capitol Police are sworn to protect members of Congress. If a member’s office is left open and unsecured, with no one inside the office, USCP officers are required to document this and secure the office to ensure no one can enter and steal. or do anything else nefarious.
Mr Manger added: ‘The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of our vigilant officers spotted the congressman’s door wide open. That Monday, USCP staff personally followed up with the congressman’s staff and determined that no investigation or further action of any kind was necessary. No investigation was ever opened or carried out on the representative or his staff. »
Mr. Nehls alleged that the Capitol Police officer entered his office on November 20 and took photographs of writings and drawings on a whiteboard – which he said was part of an investigation aimed at him and his staff.
The Texas Republican learned of the incident the following Monday when three plainclothes Capitol Police officers returned to his office and questioned a staffer.
Mr Nehls had earlier said: ‘I think it’s shameful that we can’t get answers to the basic questions about who took the picture.’
“Where was the photo sent, who authorized the criminal investigation in my office? Did that go to the high levels of the Capitol Police Intelligence Division, which, you know…I was a very vocal critic on January 6,” he asked.