On Monday, POLITICO reported that the inspector general for the Capitol Police has issued a report that conflicts with claims by Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) that Capitol Police targeted him in retaliation for his criticism of the killing of Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 insurrection with an "illegal" search.
"Nehls said at the time that Capitol Police had improperly entered his office, took a photo of a whiteboard and then came by later to question his team about it," reported Betsy Woodruff Swan. "The Texas Republican said he was being targeted due to his views that Capitol Police had 'murdered' Ashli Babbitt, a woman who entered the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack and was killed there by an officer."
Although the report recommends some changes to how Capitol Police operate, placing greater priority on the privacy of members of Congress to do their work, it does not back up the idea that Capitol Police retaliated against Nehls.
"In the inspector general report, Capitol Police instead detailed an officer checking in on an office while conducting a routine weekend patrol and then reporting something 'concerning' he saw in the office to his superiors," said the report. "The officer was doing routine patrol work of the Longworth House Office Building on Nov. 20 when he saw that the door to Nehls’s office was open, which wasn’t normal, according to the report. So he loudly announced himself a few times, and, hearing no response, walked into the office to see if everything was OK. Nobody was there. But a whiteboard 'contained writings about body armor, China, and the Rayburn and Longworth Buildings,' the report said."
"The inspector general’s office also interviewed the Nehls staffer who spoke with the officers (and who has since taken a different job), and corroborated the officer’s basic account of the office visit," said the report. "The staffer added that he thought it was 'unusual' that they showed up without an appointment, and that he thought they were ''dressed weird' like construction workers.' The officers were respectful and professional, he added, and the conversation took one minute."
Ironically, while he has repeatedly claimed Babbitt was "murdered," Nehls told a POLITICO reporter on January 15 that Capitol Police would have been "totally justified" to shoot rioters trying to force their way into the building — which is exactly what Babbitt was doing when she was shot.