As the U.S. House of Representatives prepared to vote on legislation that would establish a supposedly bipartisan commission to probe the events of Jan. 6 in the nation’s capital, left-wing media outlets, led by Politico and CNN, reported that a letter had been sent to every member of Congress expressing dismay that some lawmakers might oppose the bill. Reportedly, the letter was written by a member of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and represented the views of 40 to 50 officers.
Questions surround the authenticity of the document, however. Neither the author nor any of those USCP employees who reportedly endorsed it are identified. Moreover, as Liberty Nation reported, the Capitol Police issued a short statement on May 19, distancing themselves from the missive and pointing out that there is no proof any of their officers wrote or supported the letter:
“A statement is circling on social media, which expresses an opinion about the proposed legislation to create a commission to investigate January 6. This is NOT an official USCP statement. The department has no way of confirming it was even authored by USCP personnel. The U.S. Capitol Police does NOT take positions on legislation.”
A Ring of Inauthenticity
Whether a group of disaffected Capitol Police officers made a decision to directly influence a House of Representatives vote is not the greatest concern here – though it almost certainly warrants an internal investigation by the law enforcement agency in question. More troubling is the undeniably political nature of the communication and how it was distributed to Capitol Hill lawmakers.
First, the style and content of the message conveyed is, arguably, overly wordy and emotional – not necessarily the style of communication one would expect from a professional law enforcement officer. Secondly, the four-paragraph statement barely conceals the overt political bias of the writer. In the very first sentence, the author of the letter singles out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for their statements opposing the creation of the proposed commission.
It goes on to claim that “[t]he brave men and women of the USCP were subjected to hours and hours of physical trauma which has led to months of mental anguish.” It must be said that the hellish image painted by these words is not an accurate reflection of the events that took place on Jan. 6. Police officers in metropolitan departments are trained to deal with demonstrations and riots. The idea that they would have suffered “months of mental anguish” as a result of the events of that day is a highly disparaging and, almost certainly, a grossly unfair and insulting way to describe professional police officers who operate every day in a city that is among America’s most violent.
Continuing, the letter states: “It is a privileged assumption for members to have the point of view that ‘it wasn’t that bad,'” referring to the Jan. 6 demonstration. “That privilege exists because the brave men and women of the USCP protected you, the Members.” The reference – not once but twice – to “privilege” is somewhat suspect. “Privilege” happens to be one of the favorite buzzwords of the left, these days.
Taking a Dig at Trump?
It is the second paragraph of the letter that raises some eyebrows, though:
“On Jan 6th where some officers served their last day in a U.S. Capitol Police uniform, and not by choice, we would hope that the Members whom we took an oath to protect, would at the very minimum, support an investigation to get to the bottom of EVERYONE responsible and hold them 100 percent accountable no matter the title or position they hold or held.”
It is important to remember that not a single Capitol Police officer died directly as a result of any actions taken by pro-Trump demonstrators on Capitol Hill. But it is that last phrase of the paragraph that is something of a giveaway: “…to get to the bottom of EVERYONE responsible and hold them 100 percent accountable no matter the title or position they hold or held.” There is little doubt that this is a thinly veiled reference to former President Donald Trump, who was impeached for allegedly inciting an insurrection on that day.
The letter was circulated throughout Congress by the office of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). Raskin, it should be remembered, led Democrats’ efforts to convict then-President Trump at his Senate impeachment trial – the second one. It could reasonably be argued that Raskin is one of the most partisan Democrats on Capitol Hill. During the aforementioned trial, he presented a number of “facts” that had no verified foundation of truth to them.
Would it be fair to suggest that the Maryland lawmaker is not above peddling deception and misinformation for political gain? Raskin’s office has apparently been working with members of the USCP for some weeks and the congressman claimed to have personally met with a number of officers who are “very upset that there’s dissension around a bipartisan commission to get to the bottom of the situation.” The fact that this letter would suddenly materialize, just before the House vote on legislation to establish the Jan. 6 commission, is intriguing at best. At worst, it reeks of cheap political subterfuge.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.