June 13, 2021

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Politico reporter falsely suggests US Capitol Police condemned GOP lawmakers for opposing Jan. 6 commission – Fox News

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A reporter for Politico is under fire for amplifying a letter that falsely suggested US Capitol Police condemned GOP lawmakers for not backing a 9/11-style commission to probe the events of Jan. 6. 

The letter, which had been circulated by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., appeared to be an official document released by the USCP and was addressed to members of Congress from “Members of the United States Capitol Police.”

“We members of the United States Capitol Police write this letter to express our profound disappointment with the recent comments from both chambers’ minority leaders expressing no need fora January 6th commission,” the letter began. “The brave men and women of the USCP were subjected to hours and hours of physical trauma which has led to months of mental anguish… Officers are forced to go to work with the daily reminder of what happened that dreadful day.” 

“It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6th… 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,” the letter continued. 

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It was later reported that only 40-50 Capitol Police officers of the 2,300-person police force backed the anonymously-written letter. 

However, Politico Congress reporter Olivia Beavers shared the letter with the heavy implication that the organization itself put out the letter. 

“NEWS: The U.S. Capitol Police have issued a statement to members of Congress expressing ‘profound disappointment’ with McConnell and McCarthy’s positions on the Jan. 6 commission, citing the ‘trauma’ that officers endured that day,” Beavers tweeted. 

Her tweet, as Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy noted, received thousands of likes and retweets. It was even shared by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. 

Beavers later deleted the tweet and offered a “clarification.”

“This came from members of the USCP who used official letterhead, but it is NOT a formal statement from the USCP as a whole,” the Politico reporter wrote. 

She then reshared the letter, stressing, “MEMBERS” of the USCP issued the statement. 

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USCP issued a statement of its own amid the viral confusion. 

“A statement is circling on social media, which expresses an opinion about the proposed legislation to create a commission to investigate January 6. This is NOT an official USCP statement,” USCP stated. “The Department has no way of confirming it was even authored by USCP personnel. The U.S. Capitol Police does NOT take positions on legislation.”

A spokesperson for Politico shared Beavers’ clarification to Fox News in response to a request for comment.

Both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued statements expressing opposition to the proposed commission being pushed by Democrats.

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The House voted to approve the commission on Wednesday evening. More than 30 Republicans, including Congresswoman Cheney, joined Democrats in passing the bill, which is expected to fail in the Senate as 60 votes are needed. 

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