WASHINGTON — Ahead of Wednesday's impeachment vote, members of the U.S. House of Representatives were called to the House chambers late Tuesday night to vote on a resolution regarding the 25th Amendment.
But before lawmakers could get inside the chambers, they had to go through newly-installed metal detectors, which were put there after last week's breach of the Capitol Building by Trump supporters.
Metal detectors are usually reserved for staff, reporters and visitors. So you can imagine the displeasure of some representatives at having to submit to security screenings.
And while there weren't a lot of them, Huffington Post reporter Matt Fuller watched and reported what he saw several of the representatives do.
In a series of tweets, Fuller said he saw at least 12 House members - all Republican - either set off the alarm and kept walking or sidestepped the process altogether.
One of those lawmakers, according to Fuller, was Idaho's Russ Fulcher.
"Another member — I believe it was Russ Fulcher — just pushed his way through," Fuller tweeted. "He went through the metal detector, set it off, ran into a cop, and then pushed his way past her."
Then Wednesday morning, Fuller spotted Fulcher again.
"Rep. Russ Fulcher sees reporters staking out the door where he pushed past a cop to get through to the House floor," he tweeted. "He walks to a different door and does it again, thinking he's out of sight. (But I followed him.)
"As an aside, Russ Fulcher was the most aggressive member pushing through the metal detectors last night," Fuller added. "A female officer kind of got in his way—I think inadvertently—and he really was...assertive. The cop didn't want to talk, but she almost seemed on the verge of tears after."
KTVB has not seen any video or photos of what Fulcher allegedly did, so we reached out to his office to get his take on the incident.
Fulcher responded with a series of tweets:
"The Capitol Police are heroes. I continue to support and thank them for their service."
"Yesterday, metal detectors and member screening procedures were initiated at entrances of the House chamber, unauthorized via House rule. Info thus far shows the events on Jan. 6 came from outside, not from members.
"Member screening puts our capitol police in an awkward position of screening those they are to protect, re-directs resources away from outside threats, and implies members are a threat to one another… a notion I reject.
"I, and other members, communicated to the Sergeant at Arms that we would not be participating with the new screening procedure until we knew House rules were followed. Lastly, I am unaware of any rude interactions between members and capitol police.
"Those relationships are extremely positive… now we need to build similar relations between one another."
Fulcher and the rest of the House were there to debate and vote on the second impeachment of outgoing President Donald Trump. He along with fellow Idaho congressman Mike Simpson voted against the article of impeachment.
232 other House members, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the president, making Trump the first U.S. president to ever be impeached twice.
Fulcher released the following statement after Wednesday's vote:
"Our Congress' legislative process was put in place to facilitate debate, improve ideas, and ensure minority voices are heard throughout. Though these official processes have been trampled by Speaker Pelosi's recent rule changes to lessen the voices of the minority party, the fact remains – there IS a process.
"The attacks on our Capitol on January 6th have no place in politics, and cannot be tolerated as any sort of norm when official processes are being carried out—no matter how divisive or contentious the issue being addressed.
"On January 20th, the process will take place to inaugurate a new President, and I believe, if our republic is to survive, we must respect that.
"I anticipate this will be made only more difficult and divisive by further attempts to impeach President Trump in the House, with only days left in his term, and without proper hearings or investigations taking place. As reiterated in my attached letter to the Speaker sent January 9th, this is not the time to drive the partisan wedge deeper."
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