Gaetz tells Capitol Police preserve materials on Congress member probes, amid monitoring concerns

House GOP members have grown suspicious of alleged monitoring by the United States Capitol Police.

Updated: February 9, 2022 - 2:12pm

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Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz on Wednesday asked the U.S. Capitol Police chief to preserve materials related to investigations into members of Congress.

Gaetz made the request in a letter in which he asks the force to preserve all "documents regarding investigations or investigative activities" the Capitol Police have "engaged in regarding members of Congress."

Gaetz's letter was signed by 26 additional members of Congress, amid concerns the Capitol Police might be silently monitoring members whose political views do not align with those of the chamber's Democratic majority.

In the letter, Gaetz specifically asks for records of "photographs, documents, recordings, digital images, transcripts, or legislative work products" that have been taken from the offices of members during the 117th Congress.

He also cites an accusation by fellow GOP Rep. Troy Nehls, who says members of the USCP entered his office Nov. 20, 2021, without his knowledge or permission and "photographed private legislative products."

He says three officers, out of uniform, returned a day later and attempted to enter his office. The officers, Nehls says, questioned one of staff members about the questionably obtained materials.

The congressman also has reportedly suggested the USCP investigative unit activity is related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and that a related inspector general investigation has been opened. 

On Tuesday, following Nehls' public accusation, USCP Chief Tom Manger defended the actions of his force.

He 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."

He also said no investigation was ever "initiated or conducted into the representative or his staff."

Earlier in the week, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) reportedly wrote a letter, signed by 33 of his colleagues, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) regarding reports that the USCP have been quietly digging into the backgrounds of some individuals who meet with lawmakers.

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