A mysterious letter appeared on Capitol Hill this week. It was addressed to every member of the United States Congress. The letter arrived on the official letterhead of the U.S. Capitol Police. But it wasn’t from the chief, or from any individual officer.
Instead, the letter was signed: “Proud Members of the United States Capitol Police.” So, it was anonymous. That was the first tip this wasn’t your average security bulletin. And in fact it wasn’t. It was instead a political demand. The letter instructed members of Congress to vote “yes” to establish a “January 6th insurrection commission.” Police officers anonymously demanding that the people they protect vote a certain way on a specific piece of legislation? Haven’t seen that before.
Most people assumed the Capitol Hill police department was a law enforcement agency. Members of Congress certainly believe that. They trust their lives to Capitol Hill police. That’s why Capitol Hill police officers don’t lobby congress. That would be a dangerous conflict of interest, backed by an implied threat: do what we say, or watch your back. In this case, that’s exactly what they were saying to Republicans.
“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 [Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell] expressing no need for a January 6 commission.”
“We are expected to remain neutral and do our jobs with honor and integrity,” the letter continued. “It’s unfortunate that our ‘bosses’ [Congress] are not held to the same standard that we, the USCP are.”
Well, that’s a ransom note. Imagine getting it from one of your own bodyguards. It might be enough to make you rethink your position, which was, of course, the point of it.
The Capitol Hill police are now effectively an armed political action committee, so you have to ask, what other partisan demands will they make in the future? Do Capitol Hill cops have strong views on voter ID laws? How about taxpayer-funded abortions, or our next trade deal with China? If so, they’ve got the muscle to make their voices heard. You can see why this is setting a very bad precedent. …
Tucker didn’t say “Praetorian Guard“, but for those who know history it is obvious what direction this is heading in:
The Praetorian Guard was an elite unit of the Imperial Roman army whose members served as personal bodyguards and intelligence for Roman emperors. During the era of the Roman Republic, the Praetorians served as a small escort force for high-ranking officials such as senators or provincial governors like procurators, and also serving as bodyguards for high-ranking officers within the Roman legions.
With the republic’s transition into the Roman Empire, however, the first emperor, Augustus, reformed the Guard as his personal security detail. Although they continued to serve in this capacity for roughly three centuries, the Guard became notable for its intrigue and interference in Roman politics, to the point of overthrowing emperors and proclaiming their successors.
Members of the Praetorian Guard (allegedly) found Claudius hiding behind a curtain in the aftermath of the assassination of Caligula in AD 41, and proclaimed him emperor
In 312, the Guard was disbanded by Constantine the Great, as he oversaw the destruction of their barracks at the Castra Praetoria.
Oddly enough, that’s the same Constantine the Great that made Christianity the official religion of Rome.