House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) has appealed a $5,000 fine for failing to be screened before entering the House chamber this week, rules implemented by House Democrats this year following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
A Capitol Police report says that Clyburn “deliberately avoided being screened by refusing to submit to screening” before reentering the House chamber after having left to use the restroom. Acting sergeant-at-arms Timothy P. Blodgett alerted Clyburn of the filing the following day, as well as the House speaker’s office, the Ethics Committee and the chief administrative officer.
The Ethics Committee announced the fine and the appeal on Friday.
After a pro-Donald Trump mob stormed the Capitol, House Democrats increased security by passing a rule that would penalize any lawmaker who skips security screenings by Capitol Police or fails to walk through metal detectors installed outside the chamber. The first violation results in a $5,000 fine, followed by $10,000 thereafter. The fines are removed from a lawmaker’s paycheck.
The evenly-split Ethics Committee determines whether to uphold an appeal. So far two Republicans, Rep. Louie Gohmert (Tex.) and Andrew Clyde (Ga.), have had to pay the $5,000 fine for skirting around magnetometers during votes. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) also faced a penalty this week for setting off the metal detector and failing to stop and be checked by a handheld metal detector, reportedly telling Capitol Police officers, “maybe later, I have to vote,” according to the police report.
The extra security measure has angered Republicans. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) recently circulated a video showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walking by a metal detector and alleged hypocrisy. No police report was filed in early February to match the accusation.
“While we appreciate the Congressman’s latest, failed attempt at relevance, we do hope that he will consider a tour of the U.S. Capitol when pandemic protocols allow so that he may better familiarize himself with this temple of our Democracy,” Pelosi’s chief of staff Drew Hammill said in a tweet response.