Capitol Police face investigation over allegations of spying on Republican lawmakers

The Capitol police chief defended his department's measures.
Capitol Police car.

The U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger invited the organization's inspector general to investigate his department after several Republican lawmakers demanded a probe following allegations that the agency investigates people who meet with lawmakers, and even the lawmakers themselves. 

Manger defended his department's investigative measures that originally came under scrutiny in a Politico article last month. Following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Capitol Police intelligence officers started "scrutinizing the backgrounds of people who meet with lawmakers," three sources confirmed to Politico.

In response, seven Republican representatives – Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Troy Nehls (R-Texas), and Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) – wrote a letter in January demanding answers on the alleged surveillance of constituents. 

"Unfortunately, the Politico article contains inaccurate facts, misleading information, and unsupported conclusions," Manger wrote in his letter to the inspector general, obtained by The Hill. "I assure each of you that the USCP’s security efforts as it concerns off-campus and district-based events is legal, appropriate, and strictly limited to gathering basic information about the event that ensures the safety of Members."

Manger responded to the lawmakers days later, but his letter was made public Thursday after Rep. Nehls accused Capitol Police earlier this week of 'illegally' investigating his congressional office. The law enforcement agency denied the claim.

Politico defended the original story in an email to The Hill. 

"We're aware of the letter from Chief Thomas Manger," a Politico spokesperson said. "The facts outlined in the story were presented to Capitol Police three days before we published. We stand by our reporting on this important issue."