In the aftermath of January’s riot on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) implemented strict security rules for lawmakers and visitors to follow.
According to Politico, however, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) appears to have broken one such rule by entering the House floor without first passing through a metal detector.
“Disputes the characterization”
Sources say Clyburn first went through the checkpoint before entering the House floor but left at one point to use the restroom and, upon returning, opted to go around the metal detector. He has since addressed the situation by dismissing the allegations.
A spokesperson said that Clyburn “respects the rules of the chamber, and he disputes the characterization of this incident.”
House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett is reportedly investigating the matter.
Pelosi had metal detectors installed outside of the House chamber following the January 6 riot, mandating that members of Congress must pass through them before entering. The rule comes with a $5,000 initial fine, which increases upon repeat violations.
“It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe,” Pelosi said in announcing the measure.
“Please inform us”
The first two legislators to be hit with the fine were both Republicans: Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Andrew Clyde of Georgia. Much like the allegation against Clyburn, they reportedly failed to pass through the metal detectors upon returning from the restroom.
Notably, Pelosi herself has been accused of violating her own rules. A tweet in February by the House Administration Committee included a screenshot of a letter its members sent to Blodgett.
“Yesterday, at approximately 9:59 am, multiple members observed the Speaker of the House entering the House Chamger without completing security screening,” the statement asserted. “What was observed was a clear violation of House Resolution 73 and you are required by House Rules to impose this fine. Please inform us once the fine has been assessed.”
Reports indicate that Pelosi never did pay an associated fine, fueling speculation that there is a double standard at play.
As for Clyburn, he would be the first Democrat to pay the $5,000 fine as stipulated under the rule — but reports have not yet confirmed whether he has been assessed.