Dan Crenshaw Fined $5,000 after Bypassing Capitol Security, Ethics Panel Announces

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Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) questions witnesses during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing about ‘worldwide threats to the homeland’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 17, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Reuters)

Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) must pay a $5,000 fine after he allegedly bypassed metal detectors that were installed inside the U.S. Capitol following the January 6 riot, the House Committee on Ethics announced Wednesday.

The congressman reportedly refused to comply with security procedures as he entered the Republican cloakroom inside the U.S. Capitol last week, an investigation by the U.S. Capitol Police revealed.

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House Resolution 73 allows the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives to levy a $5,000 fine for a first offense and $10,000 for any subsequent offense against any member of Congress who does not comply with the security screening for entrance to the House chamber.

Capitol Police officers reviewed video footage showing an unknown man wearing a pin that signaled that he was a former member of Congress bypass security before an officer told the man he needed to enter through security at the House main door before entering the chamber. He responded “Okay,” according to the police memo.

The man did not return to the security checkpoint, however.

Roughly ten minutes later, Crenshaw also bypassed security and entered the cloakroom, the memo said.

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The incident happened on September 23, according to police. Crenshaw received a notice that he violated the House resolution one day later.

Members of Congress have repeatedly railed against the metal detectors since they were installed the week after the Capitol riot. Crenshaw and several other lawmakers criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in February for bypassing the metal detector herself without paying a fine.

“When you’re a liberal there’s a propensity for action, even if that action is not effective. There’s a propensity for virtue-signaling even when that signaling is not effective,” he said at the time.

Several Republican House members reportedly bypassed the metal detectors when they were first installed, including Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina and Representatives Louie Gohmert, Randy Weber and Van Taylor of Texas, according to journalists and lawmakers.

Tensions flared when Representative Lauren Boebert (R., Colo.) refused to submit her bag for a search after setting off metal detectors while entering the Capitol in January. Representative Andy Harris (R., Md.) prompted an investigation that same month after setting off a magnetometer near the House chamber while carrying a concealed gun.

Representative Jim Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, was fined $5,000 after he allegedly bypassed security in April.

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The latest fine comes months after Gohmert and Representative Andrew Clyde (R., Ga.) filed a lawsuit in June arguing that the metal detectors are unconstitutional and prevent legislators’ from performing their jobs. The suit said fines for skipping security measures are a “means of harassing” Republicans.

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