Two Republican members of the U.S. House are under investigation by Capitol Police in connection to incidents involving metal detectors that were set up outside the House chamber after the Capitol rioting on January 6. Those under investigation include Reps. Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) and Andy Harris (R-Md.), and HuffPost reporter Matt Fuller, who routinely works at the Capitol, shares that they personally witnessed both incidents. In Fulcher’s case, the Congressman “manhandled” a Capitol Police officer as he sought to make his way into the chamber, in Fuller’s description. Meanwhile, about nine days later, Harris attempted to bring a gun into the House chamber, and he subsequently attempted to get a fellow Republican, Rep. John Katko (N.Y.), to hang onto the weapon for him.
The Fulcher incident took place on January 12, according to HuffPost, and the Katko incident took place on January 21. On January 12, Fulcher “set off the magnetometer that night, and the officer inadvertently seemed to get in his way as he tried to rush past her,” HuffPost explains, and the Congressman subsequently “grabbed the officer with both hands and pushed past her roughly,” according to the account. At HuffPost, Fuller (the journalist) added that “Fulcher did not appear to be trying to injure the officer, but the incident was nonetheless jarring and out of the ordinary,” and the officer “appeared to be shaken from the interaction.”
On Twitter, Fuller said that the “Fulcher interaction should have been bigger news,” adding that no “civilian would get away with grabbing a cop like that and pushing them aside so forcefully.” On Twitter shortly after the incident, Fulcher petulantly complained that “Member screening puts our capitol police in an awkward position of screening those they are to protect, re-directs resources away from outside threats, and implies members are a threat to one another… a notion I reject.” Instead of this pompous display — and an apparent assault of a police officer — Fulcher could have followed the simple procedures.
I, and other members, communicated to the Sergeant at Arms that we would not be participating with the new screening procedure until we knew House rules were followed. Lastly, I am unaware of any rude interactions between members and capitol police.
— Rep. Russ Fulcher (@RepRussFulcher) January 13, 2021
Meanwhile, on January 21, Fuller also saw “Harris trying to get another member who had just left the floor to hold his gun for him while Harris voted,” and that other member was Rep. Katko, according to the journalist’s account. This week, Capitol Police actually summoned Fuller for questions about both of the incidents, and authorities “seemed to be interested in the fact that Harris’s gun was concealed, based on the line of their questioning,” the journalist says. House members are not permitted to carry firearms onto the floor of the House, and broadly, Washington, D.C., does not allow the concealed carrying of firearms without a permit.
Anyway, I’m glad to learn they’re investigating both of these incidents.
The Fulcher interaction should have been bigger news. The officer must have reported it — as she should have. No civilian would get away with grabbing a cop like that and pushing them aside so forcefully.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 17, 2021