Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger pushed back against allegations made by Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) that his office last November was illegally probed by Capitol Police.
On Tuesday, Nehls alleged that Capitol Police had investigated his office late last year.
“The @CapitolPolice Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally and one of my staffers caught them in the act,” Nehls wrote on Twitter.
“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,” the Texas Republican continued.
Nehls alleged that three intelligence officers tried to get into his office two days later before adding, “Upon discovering a member of my staff, special agents dressed like construction workers began to question him as to the contents of a photograph taken illegally two days earlier.”
He suggested that Capitol Police were probing and photographing his office because he was critical of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol and of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
No immediate evidence was provided by Nehls to substantiate the claims that his office had been photographed or probed.
Manger rejected the claim later Tuesday, saying that no investigation had ever been conducted into Nehls or his staff and that an officer was responding to an “open and unsecured” office.
“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 nobody can wander in and steal or do anything else nefarious,” Manger said in a statement.
“The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of our vigilant officers spotted the Congressman’s door was wide open. That Monday, USCP personnel personally followed up with the Congressman’s staff and determined no investigation or further action of any kind was needed,” Manger continued. “No case investigation was ever initiated or conducted into the Representative or his staff.”
But Nehls rejected the statement from Manger, calling it a “mischaracterization” of what happened.
“I am looking forward to the OIG investigation into this matter since Capitol Police leadership cannot be relied upon to hold themselves accountable,” Nehls said later Tuesday in a statement shared on Twitter. “I also respectfully ask the Capitol Police to release the photo that prompted this criminal investigation.”
This report was originally published on The Hill