September 18, 2021

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House Ethics Committee to review GOP appeal for magnetometer fines following Capitol attack

The House Ethics Committee will consider two appeals submitted by Republican congressmen fined for sidestepping screening measures put in place upon entry to the House floor.

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, magnetometers were installed outside the House chamber, followed by a congressional measure that enforced a fine for any member who circumvented the new security procedures.

Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Andrew Clyde of Georgia were both issued $5,000 fines for their first strike, after they reportedly skirted the metal detectors.

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Clyde was also slapped with a $10,000 fine for his second violation of the newly instated House rules, just three days after his first offense.

Fox News could not immediately reach the congressmen for comment, but in a statement issued Thursday, the House Ethics Committee said they would not be publically commenting on the appeals until a determination by the committee has been made.

Capitol Police positioned outside the House chambers are responsible for notifying the acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett if any congressmen refuse to comply with the new security measures. The sergeant-at-arms is then tasked with issuing the appropriate fine to the offender.

Gohmert has condemned the magnetometers as “unconstitutional” and accused Democrats of “making up rules as they go.”

He explained that though he skirted the metal detectors after they were first installed — reportedly telling Capitol Police just days after the deadly attack, “You can’t stop me; I’m on my way to a vote,” – he has since complied with the new mandate.

In a statement following his fine, Gohmert explained that after walking through the metal detectors on his way into the chamber, he stepped out to use the restroom before he was needed on the House floor.

GOP REP. GOHMERT RIPS DEMS OVER $5G METAL DETECTOR FINE: ‘MAKING UP RULES AS THEY GO’

“At no time … did anyone mention the need to be wanded after entering the restroom directly in front of the guards. The three main entrances have metal detectors, but the House floor entrance from the Speakers’ Lobby does not,” Gohmert explained.

Similarly, the Capitol Police report issued after Clyde’s first offense stated the congressmen “deliberately avoided being screened by refusing to go to the magnetometer,” despite an officer attempting to explain the new procedure to the Georgia Republican.

Three days later on Feb. 8, Capitol Police cited Clyde for deliberately avoiding “being screened by refusing to submit to [a] secondary screening after setting off the magnetometer.”

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The congressmen could be forced to pay the hefty fines out of their own pockets, as members cannot use campaign funds or money allocated for office operations to pay for the fines.

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