Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw has been slapped with a $5,000 fine for allegedly bypassing U.S. Capitol metal detectors last week, according to a House Ethics Committee statement.
The move comes after the House sergeant-at-arms, empowered by House Resolution 73, adopted by the House under Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi in February, imposed the penalty for the Sept. 23 incident.
“On September 27, 2021, the Committee received a notification from the Office of the Sergeant at Arms that Representative Dan Crenshaw has been fined pursuant to House Resolution 73. Pursuant to Section 1(a)(3) of House Resolution 73, the Committee hereby publishes the fine notification,” the House Ethics Committee said in a statement late Wednesday.
“Upon a determination regarding any appeal or if no appeal is received within 30 days of the Member’s notification of the fine, the Committee will make a further public statement regarding this matter. In order to comply with Committee Rule 7 regarding confidentiality, the Committee will refrain from making further public statements until that time,” the statement added.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw was fined $5,000 for not going through security screening on his way to the House cloakroom. pic.twitter.com/x8ZFLABDIn
— Daniel Strauss (@DanielStrauss4) September 29, 2021
The fine was given by House Sergeant-at-Arms William J. Walker after U.S. Capitol Police said an investigation revealed that Crenshaw and a second man entered the House chamber without passing through security.
The two men entered the chamber about 10 minutes apart, according to the Capitol Police report.
The second man was reportedly wearing a round pin signifying he was a former member of Congress, though his identity was not included in the report.
The metal detector measure was added after the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion to increase security. Any member of Congress who fails to pass through the checkpoint is given a $5,000 fine. Subsequent violations are $10,000 each.
The measure also allows a lawmaker to appeal within 30 days. Crenshaw has not yet publicly responded to the fine.
Just because the sergeant-at-arms imposes the fine, it doesn’t mean lawmakers will always have to pay them.
In April, House Majority Whip James Clyburn faced a fine for bypassing the metal detectors. The South Carolina Democrat walked around the detectors after he used the restroom during an April 20 House vote, Politico reported.
A source familiar with the matter said that Clyburn voted and then exited through a different door to go to the bathroom.
Clyburn successfully appealed the fine under a May decision by the Ethics Committee, according to a May report in The Hill. A similar appeal by Republican Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky for an April 19 violation was also successful, The Hill reported.
Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas faced a similar fine after walking around the detectors in February and unsuccessfully appealed the fine in March.
“The officer said I needed to be wanded but since I had already been through the metal detector thoroughly and having never before been required to be wanded after already having entered the floor properly, I returned to the House floor to engage in my turn to debate the bill under consideration,” Gohmert wrote in his appeal.
“I did all of that to enter the House floor. Further, there was no notice of the change in the requirement that once all of the requirements were met and the House floor was entered, that I would have to be wanded when returning from the restroom mere feet from the Speaker’s Lobby where there were no metal detectors.”
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