U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde was fined $5,000 for bypassing metal detectors installed at the U.S. Capitol after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the building last month.
The freshman Republican told Fox News that the metal detectors are unconstitutional, and that he intentionally incurred the fine so that he has standing to sue, according to the AJC.
House Democrats voted last week to start docking salaries after several Republican congressmen attempted to bring concealed weapons onto the House floor.
Clyde, a Jackson County resident, was elected last November in the deep-red 9th District, which includes a portion of North Athens and runs through the mountains to the state line. He owns a gun store in Bogart and has a business selling firearms to federal agencies and local police departments.
Shortly after taking office, Clyde joined Athens’ other congressman, Jody Hice, in objecting to Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes for President Biden. Both representatives also voted to let another Georgia freshman, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, keep her committee appointments despite touting QAnon conspiracy theories, denying that 9/11 or the Parkland school shooting happened and calling for Democrats to be executed. (Taylor Greene was stripped of her assignments with just 11 Republicans in favor of her removal.)
Some of the rioters at the Capitol Jan. 6 were current or ex-military members, and a dozen National Guardsmen were removed from duty providing security at Biden’s inauguration. Clyde has also objected to plans to screen military personnel for white-supremacist or other extremist beliefs.
“This smacks of the ‘Thought Police,'” Clyde said during a Committee on Homeland Security hearing on Taylor Greene’s ouster, Military.com reported.
Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive officer of the Anti-Defamation League — a nonprofit that monitors extremist groups, told Clyde that right-wing militias and white-supremacist groups “have made it a point to try to be recruited into the military and law enforcement,” driving the need for better screening.
“It’s not ‘Thought Police’ to make sure that our police don’t subscribe to white supremacist ideals,” Greenblatt said. “It’s not ‘Thought Police’ to make sure that our politicians don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories and want to overthrow the government.”
According to defense officials, militia groups often recruit ex-military and law enforcement personnel, and also encourage their younger members to join the military or law enforcement organizations.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.