An internal investigation has confirmed Capitol Police entered Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls’ office and photographed a whiteboard containing his sensitive legislative plans, concluding the officer who took the picture exercised “questionable judgment” and the department lacked policies and training to avoid an unnecessary intrusion on lawmakers’ constitutionally protected work.
The episode from last November exposed the need for Capitol Police to strike a “proper balance of protecting congressional representatives and their staff from physical outside threats while simultaneously protecting their legislative proposals and work product from possibly inappropriate photography, scrutiny, and questioning,” the department’s inspector general wrote in a lengthy report reviewed by Just the News.
Nehls told Just the News on Thursday night he was “a little disappointed” the internal probe did not resolve a key factual question about the officer’s claim of why he entered the congressman’s office over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
He said the failure to resolve that key question and the surfacing of other unusual facts turned up during the internal probe only heightened his fears that Capitol Police targeted him for investigation for political reasons related to his criticism of the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee investigation.
“I personally believe that Nancy Pelosi has weaponized the U.S. Capitol Police as her own investigations unit,” Nehls said in an interview with the “Just the News, Not Noise” television show. “She goes after anybody that has dissenting point of views. I obviously have been a very vocal critic of the January 6th committee and the events of January 6.”
The Capitol Police provided a statement to Just the News that did not address the IG’s criticisms of the officer or the department but strongly insisted Nehls was never under criminal investigation and that any suggestion to the contrary only undermined the police force.
“In February, a U.S. Representative claimed that we illegally investigated and spied on him and his staff,” the department told Just the News. “The allegations were made after one of our vigilant officers noticed the door to the Congressman’s office suite had been left open during the Thanksgiving weekend.”
“The U.S. Representative was never under criminal investigation. His staff was never under criminal investigation,” the department said, adding that “spreading unfounded conspiracy theories in the press undermines the work our brave men and women do every day to protect the Members of Congress, the Capitol Complex, and the legislative process.”
The inspector general found plenty to question about the incident, noting the officer was “inexplicably” instructed to fill out the wrong type of report after searching Nehls’ office and that efforts were made to keep the episode out of official records.
“The Department did not have an adequately detailed and updated SOP in place for patrol officers inside the Capitol Building, which created amb…