FederalTexas Congressman Says Capitol Police Illegally Investigated Office

Rep. Troy Nehls says that the Capitol Police broke the law when they entered his office and took a photo of a whiteboard.
February 8, 2022
https://thetexan.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Troy-Nehls-1280x853.jpg
Tensions are rising between Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX-22) and Capitol Police leadership after the congressman alleged that an officer “illegally” investigated his office.

“On November 20th, 2021, Capitol Police entered my office without my knowledge and photographed confidential legislative products protected by the Speech and Debate clause enshrined in the Constitution, Article 1 Section 6,” said Nehls.

According to documents reviewed by The Texan, on the Saturday before the week of Thanksgiving, a Capitol Police officer entered Nehls’ main office in the Longworth House Office Building.

J. Thomas Manger, the chief of police for Capitol Police, claimed in an email that the officer “did not open the door, the door was already open.”

Once inside, the officer took a photo of a whiteboard “with the words ‘body armor’ written on it, as well as an outline” of the neighboring House office building with an ‘X’ marked on an entrance, thinking it may have been “some veiled threat,” according to Manger.

The Texan Tumbler

The officer filed an incident report, and the following Monday, November 22, 2021, three agents from the Intelligence Operations Section of the Capitol Police were assigned to follow up on the matter.

Dressed in plainclothes — what Nehls described as “special agents dressed like construction workers” — the officers asked one of the congressman’s staff members about the photograph of the whiteboard. 

The content on the whiteboard was related to legislation staff members were working on in response to a report in The Washington Post about a man in Texas who pleaded guilty to wire fraud after selling defective Chinese-made body armor to the government.

The map was to show an intern where to get ice.

“Since nothing suspicious or concerning was discovered and staff provided plausible explanations I don’t feel this will need to be documented any further,” wrote one of the agents in a report after the visit.

Nehls, the former sheriff of Fort Bend County, says that Capitol Police “never informed myself or senior level staff of their investigation and their reasons are clear.”

“They had no authority to photograph my office, let alone investigate myself or members of my staff,” said Nehls. “So, why is the Capitol Police Leadership maliciously investigating me in an attempt to destroy me and my character?”

Nehls’ accusations against Capitol Police come after a recent Politico report that asserts that since the riots of January 6, 2021, “Capitol Police’s intelligence unit quietly started scrutinizing the backgrounds of people who meet with lawmakers.”

But according to an article from The Federalist, Capitol Police said that it “does not conduct any ‘insider threats’ related surveillance of intelligence gathering on Members, staff, or visitors to the Capitol Complex.”

Following Nehls’ public complaint about the Capitol Police entering his office, Manger released a statement defending the officers’ actions.

“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,” said Manger. “No case investigation was ever initiated or conducted into the Representative or his staff.”

“That is a bold faced lie,” responded Nehls.

The congressman also urged Capitol Police to “release the photo,” adding, “If that photo is so suspicious, then why don’t they let everyone see it?”

Now, the inspector general of the Capitol Police is investigating both the incident with Nehls’ office and the broader policies that Politico asserted are taking place.

In a similar situation, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01) also released a statement on Tuesday alleging that some constituent mail to his office has been unlawfully routed through the Department of Justice.

“Obama’s FBI investigated President Trump. Biden’s NSA spied on Tucker Carlson’s text messages and emails. Now, Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol Police is attempting to deter my work by spying on my office and conducting a criminal investigation,” Nehls said in a statement to The Texan.

“If they go after me, then they go after over 750,000 of my constituents in Texas’ 22nd Congressional District. Where does it end?”

###

Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.