Democratic Member Accuses Colleagues Of Conducting “Surveillance” For Capitol Rioters

As reported by Newsweek, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D., N.J.) has gone public with an extraordinary allegation against some of her colleagues that they conducted secret surveillance in a conspiracy with rioters at the Capitol. If true, those members could be criminally charged and expelled from the House. Conversely, if Sherrill has no such evidence, she could (and should) face a resolution of censure or resolution.

Sherrill said in a Tuesday night Facebook live address to her constituents that she witnessed the surveillance personally. She said unidentified members of Congress “had groups coming through the Capitol” in “a reconnaissance for the next day.” Sherrill pledged to see those lawmakers “are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.”

You can watch the whole taped discussion here and the statement comes near the end around 1215 mark.

That is an unambiguous allegation of criminal conduct against colleagues.  Once she names a member, she could also be the subject of a defamation action. This was a statement made off of the floor and not protected under the Speech and Debate Clause.  It is coming from a member who was a former Navy pilot and a federal prosecutor.  In fairness to Sherrill the reference to helping do “reconnaissance” came in a list of pledges. She could clarify that she was not alleging that these members helped in such reconnaissance. She she stands by the apparent allegation, it could leave Congress to two and equally unpleasant inquiries.

Article I, Section 5, the Constitution says, “Each House (of Congress) may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”  The House may discipline members for violations of both unlawful conduct as well as any conduct which the House of Representatives finds has reflected discredit upon the institution. In re Chapman, 166 U.S. 661, 669-670 (1897). A House Select Committee in 1967 stated:

Censure of a Member has been deemed appropriate in cases of a breach of the privileges of the House. There are two classes of privilege, the one, affecting the rights of the House collectively, its safety, dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings; and the other, affecting the rights, reputation, and conduct of Members, individually. Most cases of censure have involved the use of unparliamentary language, assaults upon a Member or insults to the House by introductions of offensive resolutions, but in five cases in the House and one in the Senate [as of 1967] censure was based on corrupt acts by a Member, and in another Senate case censure was based upon noncooperation with and abuse of Senate committees.

Censure or reprimand is not the only possible response if this allegation is found to be without basis.  The standard for defamation for public figures and officials in the United States is the product of a decision decades ago in New York Times v. Sullivan. The Supreme Court ruled that tort law could not be used to overcome First Amendment protections for free speech or the free press. The Court sought to create “breathing space” for the media by articulating that standard that now applies to both public officials and public figures. In order to prevail, they must show actual knowledge or reckless disregard of the alleged falsity.  Obviously, truth remains a defense. Under Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 352 (1974) and its progeny of cases, the Supreme Court has held that public figure status applies when someone “thrust[s] himself into the vortex of [the] public issue [and] engage[s] the public’s attention in an attempt to influence its outcome.”

If members did conspire as alleged by Rep. Sherrill, they could be expelled for that criminal act.  They would also face prosecution.  It would be a betrayal of not just Congress but the country.

Thus far, Sherrill has not named names but pledged to seek accountability. The question is whether she will now identify members who she has accused of a criminal conspiracy.  Indeed, one would think that she would have already gone to the FBI and filed a criminal complaint.  Absent naming the members, any defamation action would have to be based on the highly difficult basis for a group libel claim of all Republican members. Such an action would be highly unlikely to succeed.  In Neiman-Marcus v. Lait (1952), a New York federal district court addressed a defamation claim arising from the publication of the book “U.S.A. Confidential.” The author wrote that “some” models and “all” saleswomen at the Neiman-Marcus department store in Dallas were “call girls.” It also claimed that “most” of the salesmen in the men’s store were “faggots.” The store had nine models, 382 saleswomen and 25 salesmen. The court found the size of the group of women was too big to satisfy a group libel standard. However, the size of the group of salesmen was viewed as sufficiently small to go to trial.

The Sherrill controversy arises as another member has deleted a tweet calling for the expulsion of a colleague based on her alleged connection to rioters.  Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., called for the expulsion of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., after a tweet falsely claiming that Boebert was shown in a 2019 photo with people who were among those who rioted in the Capitol.

This is clearly something that the House must investigate.  Either Sherrill has evidence of a criminal conspiracy or has made an outrageous (and defamatory) allegation against her colleagues. Either possibility is unsettling.  Thus, Sherrill should reveal the House members who she believes conspired with rioters, which presumably she has already given to legal authorities.

 

189 thoughts on “Democratic Member Accuses Colleagues Of Conducting “Surveillance” For Capitol Rioters”

  1. A letter was sent on January 14, signed by 30 members of Congress, who confirm Rep. Sherrell’s account of the facts.

  2. Stolen bread is sweet.. causes accelerated decay, entropy
    see here the evolution of entropy in my own attitudes.
    examine the logic

    Masking; is not a simple subject.
    i wear triple homemade n-95 mask; practice make perfect
    it works, less viral loading 4 sure, also cool that it also stops OTHER filth, pollution in general

    the curse of plague, by humans’ own hands, i regard as a blessing,
    watching on with a wistful joy. i could apply my talents to a cure; $but i have censored that urge within myself.$
    CCPUS wanna be sick, why should i, nor even the Lord intervene

    i’d like to build a lite duty space suit, with some stylish capability.
    the CCPUS would ban it; why frickn bother, so i wont be building for anyone but me,
    ensuring that it turns to garbage upon theft
    i have other cool innovations, but i with hold from the commie thieves.

    LEARN TO LIVE VERY SIMPLE, IN THE MANNER THAT WHATSOEVER THEY STEAL, IS JUNK

    they can steal votes, food shelter
    they can not steal faith, hope charity
    innovation, inner optimism that could lead to a vibrant society.
    [which CCPUS have now censored, poisoned and crushed]

    everyone could put WDC and other state organs on ignore
    let the razor wire steel barricades remain around the institutions which used to be the symbol of WE THE PEOPLE
    Eloquent expression of what CCPUS is
    WE THE PEOPLE boycott going there voting and any other form of participation, no demonstrations
    not ever to speak of them, nor listen to it

    then live toward the LORD, let their thefts rot as stolen bread is wont to do.
    millions of others independently have the same vision
    psychology of the oppressed rapidly evolving
    to the most effortless basic force
    ENTROPY

  3. Why? IF she did as you claim it’s far less worse than the entire comintern of the Socialist or as Putin Described them, the American Communist Party.

  4. My email to President Trump this AM

    RE:
    President Trump,
    TODAY…..
    Even Wuhan China is NOW Investigating the source of where the COVID-19 19 /China virus came from.
    They are trying to “Prove” the accusations against them and attempting to Make Clear the facts.

    SO why can’t WE the American People demand Biden “Prove” he won 80 M Legal Vote, NOW?

    It is a Simple Discovery unlike fraud that was intense:

    2-4 hours per 6 States where there Is Proven Fraud they can easily Prove if Biden had 80M Votes. Legal Votes would not disappear for him, they need to keep them and they should be proud to SHOW them.

    Simple to Prove: If real that Biden received 80 M Votes it SHOULD be Displayed to Americans NOW
    Simple and needed to put this to REST for all Americans

    Other Reasons we Need this Investigation is we believe Biden is a LIAR and cannot clear himself of the following:
    1.) Criminal history—-NO Security Clearance
    2.) Mental instability
    3.) Socialist agenda

    PLEASE, STOP the Rush there is nothing that says we have to accept Inauguration Day of Jan 20th 2021

    TIME to Overturn

    Thank you,
    Cady Meier

    1. OK, here goes: the results of the election were tallied in the various states and confirmed by the Secretaries of State, including Republican ones. The burden is not on President Elect Biden to “prove” anything. States control elections, not the candidates. In Georgia, there were 2 recounts and then a signature match recount, all of which confirmed Biden’s victory. Your fat hero nevertheless called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger and demanded that he find 11,000+ votes for him, and Raffensberger told him “no” because the count was correct. Before that, your fat hero called the Governor and demanded that he “find” fraud, which he couldn’t do because there wasn’t any. There was never any “proven” fraud. The same is true in Pennsylvania. Trump keeps lying that election officials “unconstitutionally” allowed mail ballots. Pennsylvania Supreme Court said this was NOT unconstitutional. Trump still keeps lying about that, too. Trump was predicted to lose the election in all polls. His approval ratings were consistently below 50% throughout the time he occupied the Oval Office, which is a record. The COVID pandemic is out of control, setting new daily records for deaths and infections, most of which is due to his incompetent handling of this crisis. The economy is in shambles, too. Why do people like you find it hard to believe that Trump lost the election? Because of Trump’s lying and your gullibility in believing his lies and those told on Fox and other pro-Trump media.

      The lying has to stop. Yes, you DO have to accept Biden’s victory and inauguration. If you don’t, and you engage in violence, you’re going to prison.

  5. Um, the Congresswoman presented her claims in a way that is inherently incredible. It has the hallmarks of left-wing disinformation.

  6. In fairness to Sherrill the reference to helping do “reconnaissance” came in a list of pledges. She could clarify that she was not alleging that these members helped in such reconnaissance.

    Either she alleged they helped with reconnaissance, or she didn’t. What is this supposed to mean?

    1. Sherrell explained that in her Navy helicopter pilot training, they were instructed to observe for things out of the ordinary–like a civilian hanging around planes and helicopters. She said that tour groups, wearing red hats and shirts, going on a guided tour of the Capitol the day before the insurrection was out of the ordinary because all tours were suspended in March due to COVID. She contacted the Sergeant at Arms on January 5th about it. After the insurrection, it occurred to her that the reason for the tour could well have been reconnaissance, given that it was so out of the ordinary, plus the fact that the invaders knew the layout of the Capitol, as shown in the various videos of the invasion in which some members directed others on where to go. Her version of the facts has been confirmed by 29 other members of Congress.

  7. Paging Bob Mueller and his flying monkeys! Then again we have a leftist Dim legislator on the make and the presumption of fabrication.

  8. Rep. Mikie Sherrill: “Today I joined with more than 30 of my colleagues in requesting an investigation from the Acting House SAA, Acting Senate SAA, and USCP into the suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex on Jan. 5, 2021 – the day before the attacks on the Capitol.”

    letter attached here – https://twitter.com/RepSherrill/status/1349439821060702215

    They note that the visits were inconsistent with public visits since regular tours stopped last March due to Covid, and they ask a number of informational questions.

  9. Young, I am reposting because the post never seemed to appear on the blog.

    Young, what might be of interest to you is Marsh vs the State of Alabama 1946 SCOTUS I think the overall ideas in that decision may pertain to these large companies.

    “We can not accept that contention. Ownership does not always mean absolute dominion. The more an owner, for his advantage, opens up his property for use by the public in general, the more do his rights become circumscribed by the statutory and constitutional rights of those who use it.”

    Think of trains

    Among other quite a few other things I like RICO and I think in the past you liked it as well. I would likewise want to see if any charges could be brought against the leaders of these companies though that I believe is more of a stretch.

    I also think we have tipped over to the fascist side of the political spectrum.

  10. Ques to Mr. Turley : are you a honest man or a Pelosi minion? If dems committed no Fraud? Why not do a forensic audit of the five swing states? And a forensic audid of all the Dominion machines. Some 8500 witnesses who all signed afidavits can’t be wrong.

    1. Why not obtain transcripts of Trump’s phone calls and meetings with other state officials, to see whether he tried to pressure others in the same way he tried to pressure Raffensperger.

  11. Mikie Sherrill is hardly a bomb-thrower. She’s a Blue Dog caucus member representing an R+3 district.

    LOL! Your forgot she wears nice clothes and took an oath or something.

    We have videos and statements from AZ Rep Paul Gosar, MI Rep Andy Biggs, AL Rep Barry Moore, GA Rep Marjorie Greene, and others. We have claims from Ali Alexander about the coordination planning with sitting congressmen.

    Videos and statements, you say. Gosh, maybe we’ll get sworn affidavits too. Of course given the that videos, statements and sworn affidavits from election workers during the 2020 electoral process meant jack squat, at this point in time, we should show Sherrill and her colleagues equal treatment.

  12. I wonder at our commentators… all presume that the “colleagues” pointed to; out of some necessity, must be Republicans. Perhaps they are Democrates of whom she speaks.

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