On Wednesday, the House did the right thing: It passed a bill to investigate the MAGA insurrection of January 6. It did so without much Republican help; 175 GOP representatives voted against it, a number of them having gone on record saying they wouldn’t participate in an inquiry into a deadly siege that left five dead. In the lead-up, those lawmakers received their own form of pushback. Democratic representative Tim Ryan scorched colleagues across the aisle who refuse to support it. And so did the officers whose lives were put in danger that fateful day.
On Wednesday, a letter was sent to the House chiefs calling out Republican lawmakers for their reluctance. Though no names were attached, it was printed on United States Capitol Police letterhead and, according to The Huffington Post, it represents some 40 to 50 officers. And it did not mince words, expressing “profound disappointment” that the likes of Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell have tried to stall the investigation.
The letter goes onto discuss how Capitol officers “were subjected to hours and hours of physical trauma which has led to months of mental anguish.” Indeed, of the five people who died on Jan. 6, one was a police officiers, Brian Sicknick. Two other officers died by suicide in the days following.
It goes on:
“It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6. 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 the brave men and women of the USCP protected you, the Members.”
“Unfortunately this letter comes to you anonymously, because as U.S. Capitol Police Officers, we are expected to remain neutral and do our jobs with honor and integrity,” it reads. “It’s unfortunate that our ‘bosses’ [in Congress] are not held to the same standard that we, the USCP, are.”
After the letter went viral, USCP top brass formally distanced themselves from the letter, underlining the fact that the organization “does NOT take positions on legislation” and claiming they weren’t even sure which officers wrote the letter.
USCP does NOT take positions on legislation. pic.twitter.com/LSu38jbIqd
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) May 19, 2021
Nevertheless, as per HuffPo, Rep. Jamie Raskin confirmed that the letter’s authors were indeed members of Capitol Police.
Did the letter arrive in time to change any hearts and minds? We may never know. But there’s still a vote in the Senate, and we’ll see what Republicans there think about the men and women in blue who protect them.