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GOP Rep: Capitol Cops Invaded Our Office, Took Illegal Photo, Returned 2 Days Later Dressed as Construction Workers - Top Cop Disputes

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Texas Rep. Troy Nehls has seen a side of the U.S. Capitol Police most Americans never will.

First, the freshman Republican stood side by side with Capitol Police officers to fend off rioters during the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6, 2021.

Now, after becoming one of the most vocal critics of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s committee investigating the incursion, Nehls says he’s become a target of the Capitol Police himself.

In a Twitter thread published Tuesday morning, the congressman charged that a member of the Capitol Police Intelligence Division had entered his office Nov. 20 without his knowledge and photographed “confidential legislative products.”

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In a statement posted to his website, Nehls said the officer had entered his office after seeing a door unlocked and photographed material about legislation Nehls was working on related to body armor for law enforcement officers.

That photo was passed up to Capitol Police intelligence analysts, Nehls’ statement said, and it was deemed “suspicious writing.”

He accused officers of returning Nov. 22, dressed as “construction workers,” and questioning a staff member who was in the office about the material he said had been photographed.

Nehls further charged that neither he nor senior members of his staff had been informed that any investigation was taking place, and he questioned whether it was related to his outspoken opposition to Pelosi.

According to the statement, Nehls has discussed the incident repeatedly with Capitol Hill Police Chief Tom Manger since it occurred. The statement said he was told that the “suspicious writings” in his office had been considered a “veiled threat” to Nehls’ life.

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In the statement, Nehls made it clear he isn’t buying that.

“After communicating with Chief Manger, it became clear that my office was under investigation and surveillance by USCP,” he said in the statement. “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.”

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Manger disputed virtually every aspect of Nehls’ account.

A Capitol Police officer did enter Nehls’ office before Thanksgiving, the statement said, but only as part of carrying out the department’s normal security duties. And a follow-up conversation did occur about Nehls’ office, the statement said, but it was all routine.

“The United States Capitol Police is sworn to protect Members of Congress,” Manger’s statement said. “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.

“The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of our vigilant officers spotted the Congressman’s door was wide open. That Monday, USCP 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.”

In an email to The Western Journal on Tuesday, Nehls spokeswoman Frankie Granato hit back hard.

“The issue is not whether or not the officer entered the office legally, the issue was the ‘vigilant’ officer in question took a photo of private Congressional material that is protected under Article I Section 6 of the speech and debate clause in the US constitution,” she wrote. “Imagine leaving your front door open and police officers enter your private home, take pictures of the inside, and then open a criminal investigation based on those pictures.

“How can Chief Manger issue a statement and fail to mention the photograph that was illegally taken?”

Fox News reported Tuesday that Nehls’ office had provided it with “correspondence and documents related to the incident, including a copy of the incident report that recounted the events as well as a list of answers from Manger relating to the incident, which confirmed the picture was taken by an officer.”

“The material in question was a dry erase board in the congressman’s office with information on new legislation related to police body armor and a map of the Rayburn House Office Building with an ‘x’ labeled near the C Street entrance that Nehls’ office told USCP was to tell an intern where to grab ice,” the report said.

Do you believe Rep. Nehls more than the Capitol Police?

Nehls’ statement said he had requested an investigation by the Capitol Police inspector general and that the inspector general had agreed.

“This goes much deeper than an unethical entry into my office by Capitol police,” Nehls said in the statement. “This is a violation of Members’ right to speech and debate, as well as a 4th amendment violation. Could you imagine leaving your front door open and police officers enter your private home, take pictures of the inside, and then open an investigation based on those pictures?”

The congressman, a former sheriff, was elected in 2020 to represent the 22nd Congressional District of Texas. At the time of the Jan. 6 incursion, he’d been on the job only three days, as Fox News reported in an interview with Nehls on the anniversary of the incursion.

The former lawman and Army combat veteran joined with the Capitol Police to prevent rioters from gaining entry into the House chamber.

“My training kicked in that day,” Nehls told Fox News in that interview. “I’ve been in tense situations before.”

After the incursion, a different kind of situation developed as Pelosi formed her House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.

Nehls was originally one of the five Republicans selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to represent the GOP on the committee.

However, after Pelosi rejected two McCarthy appointments — Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana — McCarthy said the GOP would not participate in the “sham” process.

The only two Republicans on the committee were appointed by Pelosi: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
Birthplace
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