Washington, DC – A member of Congress who is a former Texas sheriff blasted the Capitol Police and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on Tuesday and revealed that investigators had illegally entered his office, taken pictures of legislative work product, and then launched an investigation based on what they had found on the congressman’s white board.
U.S. Representative Troy Nehls (R-Texas), who served more than 30 years in law enforcement and became sheriff of Bend County before he was elected to Congress, put out a series of bombshell-dropping tweets on Feb. 8 that detailed his allegations of malfeasance against the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and U.S. House leadership.
“The @CapitolPolice Intelligence Division investigated my office illegally and one of my staffers caught them in the act,” the thread posted by Nehls began.
“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 lawmaker continued.
“Two days later on Monday November 22, 2021 (Thanksgiving week), three intelligence officers attempted to enter my office while the House was in recess,” Nehls tweeted.
“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 wrote.
“@CapitolPolice never informed myself or senior level staff of their investigation and the reasons are clear,” Nehls tweeted. “They had no authority to photograph my office, let alone investigate myself or members of my staff.”
“So, why is the Capitol Police Leadership maliciously investigating me in an attempt to destroy me and my character?” he asked in yet another tweet. “Maybe it is because I have been a vocal critic of @SpeakerPelosi , the @January6thCmte, and @CapitolPolice leadership about their handling of January 6th, the death of Ashli Babbitt and the subsequent SHAM investigation.”
Nehls office put out a press release at the same time that explained the congressman’s allegations in far more detail.
The first incident occurred on Nov. 20, 2021 when a USCP officer allegedly discovered an unlocked door on Nehls’ congressional office.
The officer entered the congressman’s office and proceeded to take photos of confidential materials that were found inside, including a white board that contained information about “a pro law enforcement bill that would have ensured body armor quality for law enforcement officers,” according to the press release.
Nehls’ office said the officer sent the picture up the chain at USCP and it made it to intelligence analysts that filed a report citing “suspicious writings” found in the GOP congressman’s office, sparking concern and causing the launch of an investigation.
But Nehls said his office was never notified that there was any sort of investigation into him or his staff being conducted.
Two days later, while Congress was out on Thanksgiving break and most offices were empty, three USCP officers dressed as construction workers tried to get into Nehls’ office yet again.
But on Nov. 22, they encountered a staff member who was there working.
The press release said that the officers proceeded to question the staff member about the contents the white board.
What the white board contained, according to The Federalist, was a brainstorm session about legislation banning the procurement of Chinese body armor.
Nehls’ office said that list was made in the wake of a story in The Washington Post that detailed how a federal contractor from Texas had defrauded the U.S. government by supplying them with Chinese-made body armor instead of ballistic gear manufactured in the United States.
The police report about the “suspicious writings” on Nehls whiteboard left out the list that was written underneath the words “body armor” that included references to export administration regulations dealing with Chinese imports and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) standards for the ballistic equipment, according to The Federalist.
“If Capitol Police leadership had spent as much time preparing for January 6 as they spent investigating my white board, the January 6 riot never would have happened,” Nehls said. “When I was a patrol officer responding to a call, I didn’t have the time or authority to go rifling through someone’s personal papers. There are serious 4th Amendment, constitutional issues at play here.”
One Republican congressional staffer who does not work for Nehls told The Federalist that since Jan. 6, 2021, Pelosi has used Capitol Police as her own personal mercenaries instead of focusing on the security failures that let the Capitol riot occur.
“Instead of fixing the obvious problems with Capitol security, Pelosi used January 6 as an excuse to create her own personal Praetorian Guard,” the aide said.
The press release from the congressman’s office outlined in more detail the “unethical entry” that the lawmaker called “a violation of Members’ right to speech and debate, as well as a 4th amendment violation.”
“Could you imagine leaving your front door open and police officers enter your private home, take pictures of the inside, and then open an investigation based on those pictures?” Nehls asked.
The lawmaker followed up with USCP Chief Thomas Manger in a series of calls, letters, and meetings during which the police chief claimed that the report had stemmed from concerns the writings on the whiteboard were a “veiled threat” to Nehls’ life, according to the press release.
“After communicating with Chief Manger, it became clear that my office was under investigation and surveillance by USCP. We were the ‘threat,’” Nehls said. “If Capitol Police had spent this much time investigating January 6th as they did investigating my private legislative materials, January 6th would not have happened.”
Nehls was selected to be a member of the January 6th Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot.
The congressman asked the USCP inspector general to investigate his allegations of illegal investigations being conducted by the Capitol’s law enforcement agency.
He said the inspector general had accepted his request and an investigation had been opened.
“Capitol Police leadership have put a target on my back, but my work in exposing the security failures on January 6th, the death of Ms. Babbitt, and the sham investigation into the events of January 6th will not be deterred,” Nehls vowed.
A spokesman for the congressman explicitly told The Police Tribune that Nehls does not lay any blame on the rank-and-file members of the Capitol Police force – just their leadership.
USCP released a statement after Nehls’ allegations hit the news that denied any investigation into his office had been initiated.
“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,” Chief Manger said in the statement.
“The weekend before Thanksgiving, one of our vigilant officers spotted the Congressman’s door was wide open,” the chief continued. “That Monday, USCP personnel personally followed up with the Congressman’s staff and determined no investigation or further action of any kind was needed. No case investigation was ever initiated or conducted into the Representative or his staff.”