House Majority Whip James Clyburn could face a $5,000 fine for bypassing the metal detectors that were installed off the House floor as part of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s security protocols following the Jan. 6 incursion into the Capitol.
Clyburn would be the first Democrat to be fined under the new protocols if he is found guilty of violating the rules.
The top Democrat walked onto the House floor Tuesday through a door facing the Capitol Rotunda and was wanded by security.
A source familiar with the matter said that Clyburn voted and then exited through a different door to go to the bathroom.
After he left, the source said he approached his Capitol Police detail who were talking with another officer in the House Speaker’s Lobby.
They all reportedly walked around the metal detector to get back to the House floor.
The source said that Clyburn had gone through security not 10 minutes before re-entering the chamber and did not refuse any directives from Capitol Police.
“Congressman Clyburn respects the rules of the chamber and he disputes the characterization of this incident,” a spokesperson for the lawmaker said in a statement.
The incident has been referred to Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett, who will decide if the top House Democrat will face the fines set in place by Pelosi.
The speaker oversaw the installation of the metal detectors following the Jan. 6 incursion into the Capitol. If a lawmaker bypasses the metal detectors, he or she is fined $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second.
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.”
The House Ethics Committee announced that Republican Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky is facing a $5,000 fine for skipping “complete security screening” prior to a vote last week.
Rogers allegedly set off the metal detector and continued to walk into the chamber after a Capitol Police officer tried to wand him.
He came back after he voted and asked the officers what he needed to do to complete his screening, but was told the screening needed to be completed before he voted.
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