The U.S. Capitol Police Department has denied involvement in writing a letter that expressed “disappointment” at recent comments from GOP leaders opposing the creation of a January 6 Commission.
The letter, which circulated online Wednesday, shortly before the House of Representatives voted in favor of the commission, was allegedly written by a number of Capitol police officers and appeared to be on official stationery. But the department has denied involvement in the letter, noting that it doesn’t take stances on proposals.
“A statement is circling on social media, which expresses an opinion about the proposal 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,” said USCP.
USCP does NOT take positions on legislation. pic.twitter.com/LSu38jbIqd
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) May 19, 2021
While it’s unclear who authored the letter, reports suggest it was at least written by a Capitol police officer.
CNN reported Wednesday that they have spoken to the author of the letter, but could not “independently verify other officers supported the letter.” CBS News reports that Rep. Jamie Raskin’s (D-MD) office was circulating the letter to other congressional offices. A spokesperson for Raskin’s office told CBS News that the officer who wrote the letter said it represented the views of between 40 and 50 officers of the department — which employs around 2,300 officers and civilian employees.
“They’re not accustomed to being political and they’re not supposed to be political, but this is something that affects them directly, that they feel very strongly about, so they have to express themselves anonymously,” Raskin told CBS News. “I have no doubt that this is coming from real capitol officers and that they’re speaking for huge numbers of officers who are very upset about the situation.”
While the letter did not name any specific Republican leaders, the two most senior congressional Republicans — Minority Leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — have both voiced opposition to the legislation.
“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” said McCarthy.
But the anonymous letter’s signatories — again, it remains unclear how many people actually supported it — took issue with GOP opposition to the legislation.
“We members of the United States Capitol Police write this letter to express our profound disappointment with the recent comments from both chambers’ minority leaders expressing no need for a January 6 commission,” reads a copy of the letter circulating online. “The 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 is inconceivable that some of the members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6,” reads the letter. “Member safety was dependent upon the heroic actions of USCP. It is a privileged assumption for members to have the point of view that ‘It wasn’t that bad.’ That privilege exists because of the brave men and women of the USCP protect you, the members.”
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