Note: Troy Nehls is pictured here in the blue shirt on Jan. 6.
In an update to the U.S. Capitol Police story, Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas accused USCP Chief Tom Manger on Tuesday of telling “a bold-faced lie” when he said Nehls was never being investigated. As you know, Nehls is accusing them of illegally entering his office on two separate days last November, photographing the notes on his whiteboard (yes, SPYING) and later questioning a staff member about that content.
As Nehls alleged, “The Capitol Police Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally and one of my staffers caught them in the act” He said they proceeded to take photos of “confidential legislative products protected by the Speech and Debate clause enshrined in the Constitution, Article 1 Section 6.” He says he personally told the chief what was wrong about this and is quite unsatisfied with the responses he got to his concerns. In fact, he got the distinct impression that it was he who was considered the ‘threat.’
The USCP Inspector General has announced an internal investigation of the Capitol Police and their surveillance practices. The USCP maintains that Nehls’ door was wide open and that they were doing their duty when they checked things out. Chief Manger said, “The United States Capitol Police is sworn to protect Members of Congress. 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 no one can wander in and steal or do anything else nefarious.”
Well, that all sounds fine as far as it goes –- assuming the door WAS left open (we have their word, but so far nothing else) --- but it does not explain why they photographed the whiteboard or why, two days later, investigators disguised as construction workers stopped by and started questioning a lone staffer about what was written on it. It fails to address that at all.
A spokesperson for Rep. Nehls offered some food for thought: “Imagine leaving your front door open and police enter your private home, take pictures of the inside, and then open a criminal investigation based on those pictures.”
“How can Chief Manger issue a statement, and fail to mention the photograph that was illegally taken,” she asked. Here is Rep. Nehls’ full press release.
House Republicans are now calling on Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman on House Administration Zoe Lofgren, also a Democrat from California, to investigate the USCP surveillance activities, noting the constitutional issues they raise. (Question for House GOP: Do any of you trust Nancy Pelosi to set up a real investigation, especially when that would involve being investigated herself?)
Also, Nehls says that he and 26 of his House Republican colleagues have written to Chief Manger demanding that the USCP preserve all of their records related to any investigative activity involving any legislators or their staff members. This isn’t the first time Nehls has written to Chief Manger…
That’s right, it was Nehls who wrote to Chief Manger in October of last year, asking for a more thorough investigation into Ashli Babbitt’s death and requesting public disclosure of related documents. He said at that time he had personally reviewed all materials available relating to January 6. “Based on my extensive law enforcement experience,” he wrote, “I see nothing that could have possibly justified the use of lethal force against Ms. Babbitt…It is simply implausible that a single unarmed individual crawling through a broken window could have presented a serious life and death threat to LT Byrd or Members of Congress.”
He even said in the letter that it had been suggested by other USCP officers that the investigation into Byrd was dropped “because of his position and other political considerations.” Whew, one can see that IF the Capitol Police WERE going to spy on a member of Congress, it likely would be Nehls.
Rep. Nehls appeared with Laura Ingraham on her FOX News show Wednesday night, after Ingraham played a video clip of Speaker Nancy Pelosi denying she had any authority over the Capitol Police. “I have no power over the Capitol Police --- does anybody not know that?” she asked rhetorically with a broad smile. “Capitol Police have responded to that gentleman’s [Nehls’] allegation, and that stands as what it is. But I have no power over the police.”
Nehls was not surprised that Pelosi said nothing nice about him, as he’s been a vocal critic. Prior to his election to Congress, he worked in law enforcement for 30 years –- 8 years as a sheriff –- and he accuses the USPC intelligence division of having “all of the material” ahead of the Capitol Hill rally that would have told them to be on guard against potentially disruptive extremist groups who were coming to the Capitol on January 6.
“January 6 should’ve never happened,” he has said repeatedly. “The Capitol Police had the intelligence; they didn’t share it.” He told Ingraham that as someone who himself has conducted investigations, he continues to be quite vocal, specifically about Ashli Babbitt’s death and the “way too quick” dismissal of charges against her shooter, Lt. Michael Byrd. Apparently his letter last fall got no results.
With his lengthy and impressive law enforcement background, Nehls seems like someone who would’ve been an asset on Pelosi’s “Special Committee” to look into January 6. Yet she refused to seat hm.
“...She doesn’t want me talking about January 6,” he said, “because I think, in the end, she had a role to play.”