Capitol Police directed to arrest visitors, staffers not wearing masks

Capitol Police directed to arrest visitors, staffers not wearing masks
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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The U.S. Capitol Police have been given orders to arrest visitors and staffers at the House of Representatives who do not wear a mask, according to a memo circulated on Thursday.

The memo, which was issued on Wednesday by USCP Chief Thomas Manger, states that “If a visitor or staff member fails to wear a mask after a request is made to do so, the visitor or staff shall be denied entry to House office buildings or the House side of the Capitol.”

“Any person who fails to either comply or leave the premises after being asked to do so would be subject to an arrest for Unlawful Entry,” the memo adds, stipulating that a member of Congress who refuses to wear a mask will be not be arrested but will instead be “reported to the House Sergeant at Arms’ Office.”

Details of the memo surfaced on social media after Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) posted photos of the memo. 

“In today’s edition of Pelosi’s abuse of power, Capitol Police have been directed to arrest staff and visitors to comply with her mask mandate for vaccinated individuals. For Members, they advise not arresting but ‘reporting Members to SAA for their failure to comply,’ she wrote.

Cammack said that she would refuse to comply with the order, which is believed to have come from Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"This is such an overstep of Speaker Pelosi's authority to basically make our Capitol Police arrest staff members and report on members [of Congress]," Cammack told Fox News. "It's absolutely unconscionable that this is where we're at."

"I cannot comply with this tyrannical order," Cammack said. "This is the people's house, not Nancy Pelosi's house."

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) slammed the order on Twitter. Quoting Cammack, Scalise said, “This isn’t about science—it’s about power and control.” 

Pointing out the ridiculousness of Pelosi’s order, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) took to Twitter to point out how visitors and staffers could be arrested for standing in one portion of the Capitol building, where the House resides, but not in the Senate.

Like other Republicans, Massie said both he and his staff will reject the “unlawful” order to put on a mask.

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