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Rep. Andrew Clyde fined $5,000 for walking around House metal detectors, pledges appeal
Andrew Clyde.jpg
Andrew Clyde

Rep. Andrew Clyde has been fined $5,000 for bypassing metal detectors at the U.S. House.

Clyde and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas are the first two Republicans to be punished by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for failing to comply with the rule enacted after the Capitol riot.

Clyde's office released a transcript of remarks the congressman made on Fox News late Friday night. In the interview, Clyde calls the issue a constitutional one and says he plans to appeal.

"Those metal detectors are there to detain us ... and that’s a violation of Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution. ... The Constitution says that we cannot be impeded when we go to the floor to vote, and those metal detectors are unconstitutional.”

Lawmakers who bypass the metal detectors face a $5,000 fine for a first offense and $10,000 for each offense after that. If lawmakers don't pay within 90 days, the fine will be deducted from their paychecks. The salary for House members is $174,000, and they are not allowed to pay the fine with campaign funds or from their House office budget.

The House adopted the rule Tuesday on a 216-210 vote. All Republicans voted against it, including Gohmert and Clyde.

The congressmen have the right to appeal to the Ethics Committee within 30 days and could only escape the fine if a majority of that panel agrees.

"I’m going to fight it," Clyde said on Fox Friday. "I’m going to appeal it, and then I’m going to take them to court, because this is unconstitutional. We’re all set up to do that."

In response to an inquiry from The Times concerning the congressman's next steps, a representative from Clyde’s office said he would make a followup statement at a later date.

Gohmert also plans to fight the fine.

"We'll be appealing because this is ridiculous,” Gohmert told Axios.

The metal detectors were installed at each entrance to the House floor after the deadly riot on Jan. 6. Some Republicans, including Gohmert and Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, immediately resisted, bypassing the checkpoints on their way into the chamber.

On Tuesday, Pelosi said that anyone who bypasses the new security measures is "disrespecting our heroes by refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our congressional community safe."

Democratic House leaders decided to require lawmakers to pass through metal detectors after some Republicans inquired about carrying firearms on the House floor in the wake of the insurrection.

Tribune News Service, Times reporter Nick Watson and News Editor Nate McCullough contributed to this report.