Spying or security check? GOP lawmaker details office incident with Capitol Police

The snooping incident in the office of Rep. Troy Nehls prompted Rep. Matt Gaetz to send a letter to the U.S. Capitol Police chief demanding the preservation of all records relating to investigations of members of Congress.
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Rep. Nehls
Rep. Nehls
Rep. Nehls Office

Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls has revealed new details of an incident in which Capitol Police entered his congressional office and took photos.

"Well, the Capitol Police claimed they found one of my doors wide open on a Saturday afternoon about 3:30," Nehls recounted Friday on the "Just the News, Not Noise" television show. "Well, the individual, the police officer, walks into my office, makes sure that there's no one in there that shouldn't be there. I have no issues with that.

"But when he started taking pictures of my materials on my whiteboard, my legislative priorities, and who knows what else he did there. He took a picture of my whiteboard that had those legislative priorities. And he felt that some of the language on the board, a handwritten drawing of the Rayburn Building — he said that those things were suspicious.

"Thus, he took it upon himself to send it to the command center, who then sent it to a special agent in the intelligence section, who then sent it to a supervisor. And then I have three secret Capitol Police knocking on my door that Monday questioning one of my staffers about that language and that drawing on my board. Quite shocking, quite honestly."

Nehls said the officers should have never taken pictures of his whiteboard.

"They were my legislative priorities," he explained. "I would have been able to explain the word body armor very easily because the words body armor were on that whiteboard because folks, we are buying body armor from China. What the hell are we buying body armor from China for? So it would have been easy to explain. But no, they come in there looking like construction workers and start grilling one of my staffers on the material on that whiteboard. You should have confronted me; you should have spoken to me, or at least my chief deputy; they chose not to."

Nehls said he's not aware of any other lawmaker in Congress having a similar experience.

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz sent a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Capitol Police chief with 26 other House Republicans demanding that U.S. Capitol Police preserve all records "regarding investigations or investigative activities the United States Capitol Police have engaged in regarding members of Congress."

The letter was provoked by Nehls' experience, which occurred in November 2021. The Capitol Police inspector general is reportedly investigating the incident.

"We need to get to the bottom of this the idea that Nancy Pelosi can weaponize the U.S. Capitol Police as her own intelligence agency, investigative agency, to go out there and spy on members of Congress," said Nehls.