Dozens of Republicans Warn US Capitol Police Against Trashing Files of 'Shady' Probes Into Lawmakers

© REUTERS / JOSHUA ROBERTS / FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, in WashingtonFILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill, in Washington - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.02.2022
Texas Congressman Troy Nehls — himself a former law enforcement officer — claimed that the US Capitol Police (USCP) entered his office illegally and took photos of documents constitutionally protected from interference. Two days later, he suggested, they were caught trying to sneak back in during a recess period, disguised as workmen.
More than two dozen House Republicans have demanded the US Capitol Police (USCP) force preserve all records of investigations into representatives.
GOP Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz and 26 others signed a letter to USCP Chief J. Thomas Manger after Texas representative — and former sheriff — Troy Nehls accused USCP officers of illegally entering his Capitol Hill office without a warrant on November 20, 2021, and photographing documents.
Nehls has claimed that three officers dressed as construction workers tried to sneak into his office during the Thanksgiving weekend while the US Congress was in recess. As his story goes, the individuals ultimately ran into some of Nehls' staff who had stayed to work and "began to question him as to the contents of a photograph taken illegally two days earlier," the congressman tweeted.
In a press statement, Nehls claimed that the force was targeting him for his criticism of their handling of the January 6 storming of the US Capitol and the fatal shooting by USCP Lieutenant Michael Byrd of 1/6 attacker Ashli Babbitt.

"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 6 will not be deterred," Nehls declared.

A U.S. Capitol police officer's badge shows a black stripe in honor of deceased colleagues as he guards the building on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 28, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.02.2022
Congressman Nehls Says US Capitol Police Illegally Investigated His Office
"The undersigned demand that you preserve all records (including, but not limited to, photographs, documents, recordings, digital images, transcripts, or legislative work products) taken from or of the offices of members of Congress during the 117th Congress," the representatives wrote.
"We further request that you preserve all communications including, but not limited to text messages, phone calls, emails, handwritten communications, as well as all documents including, but not limited to any paper or electronic notes, work products, briefings, dossiers, hard drives, records, and orders between or belonging to any officer, agent, contractor, or persons involved in these investigation activities."

"Please immediately inform me of your intention to comply with this preservation demand. Or, if not, your basis for refusal," they added.

The letter came as Manger defended his department against Nehls' allegations on Tuesday, noting that "no case investigation was ever initiated or conducted into [Nehls] or his staff." Nehls responded to Manger by calling the statement a "bold faced lie."
Gaetz, one of 27 lawmakers who signed the letter to Manger, is a suspect in a long-running federal investigation into alleged sex-trafficking of minors.
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