The events of January 6th have been used as a pretense by partisans for all kinds of insanity over the last year. From playing fortification theater with the Capitol Building to the government constantly pretending “domestic extremists” are the nation's biggest threat, the game is simple: To make Republicans who had nothing to do with that day feel political pain.
Another move that caused concern when it occurred was Nancy Pelosi's elevation of the United States Capitol Police to some kind of personal, partisan defense force, including funding offices all over the country used to gather data on those that just so happen to be political opponents. Now, we are learning just how far that operation goes, and the details are incredibly disturbing.
Republican congressional members, their staffers, and their donors are being spied on in ways that are simply not tolerable in a free society. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) went on Tucker Carlson last night to discuss the issue. Here's what he had to say.
Capitol Hill Police are spying on elected members of Congress, their staff, and private citizens. pic.twitter.com/vo6p5CL27A— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) January 26, 2022
Politico also provides some more information on the specifics of what is occurring, including real-world examples that sound like they belong in a third-world dictatorship.
In another document reviewed by POLITICO, one Capitol Police official noted that Farnam directed analysts to run “background checks” on people whom lawmakers planned to meet, including donors and associates. When staff were listed as attending these meetings, Capitol Police intelligence analysts also got asked to check the social media accounts of the staffers.
Analysts were also directed to probe the ownership of buildings where members of Congress held their meetings.
“Is there a foreign interest or ownership in the event location?” the revised template read. “Are there any permanent delegations or missions in the immediate area of the event?”
It gets worse, but I want to stop here because I think it's important to see the game behind the game. Probing for “foreign interests” in the meetings of congressional members seems like a pretty clear attempt to dig up another “Russian collusion” narrative. Why else would that even be relevant to the Capitol Police, who ostensibly exist to simply protect the physical lives of congressional members? Is there a physical threat or not? Because a donor having ties to another country does not represent a clear and present danger for the USCP to act on.
Such a fishing expedition happened to Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and he was none too happy about it. Steve Scalise was also targeted.
Analysts also were tasked with sifting through tax and real estate records to find out who owned the properties that lawmakers visited. For example, the unit scrutinized a meeting that Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) held with donors in a private home. Analysts eyed the homeowner's and attendees' social media accounts, and looked for any foreign contacts they had.
“These reports are incredibly disturbing,” Scott spokesperson McKinley Lewis said in a statement. “It is unthinkable that any government entity would conduct secret investigations to build political dossiers on private Americans. The American people deserve to know what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi knew and directed, and when. Senator Scott believes the Senate Rules Committee should immediately investigate.”
Lewis added that their office had no knowledge of the level of scrutiny that Capitol Police analysts were conducting regarding the senator's events.
The unit has also scrutinized multiple donors who have met with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). A spokesperson for Scalise said the congressman was unaware of the scrutiny those meetings received.
As Armstrong shared in his interview on Tucker Carlson's show, there is no probable cause to be doing any of this. It is tyrannical and dangerous to use government intel assets to surveil and dig up dirt on Americans when there is no evidence whatsoever to point to anything untoward happening. To do so is simply an attempt to expose political dirt for Nancy Pelosi and her allies to use because as Carlson notes, there is zero chance all of this information being gathered isn't being passed on to her. She runs the USCP and the leadership of the force is loyal to her.
What you'll also notice in Politico's write-up is that every example they uncovered was of a Republican being spied on. I don't think anyone reading this is gullible enough to think that's a coincidence.
Lastly, let's note that what the USCP is doing, even if one believes it is necessary to keep congressional members safe, is likely illegal.
Rachel Levinson-Waldman, deputy director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the nonprofit Brennan Center for Justice, said the practice is “of questionable legality” and is “a recipe for creating dossiers on people.”
She added that federal law protects against “collecting and keeping of data about people without a specified and authorized purpose.”
Collecting and keeping data without a specified and authorized purpose is exactly what the USCP is doing. Bleating that “we are trying to keep people safe” is not a blanket authorization for the federal government to do whatever it wants. There are supposed to be boundaries, and I believe those boundaries are being violated here, certainly in spirit. Republicans must take back the House in November, and when that happens, they must dismantle this incursion.