Neither House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn , D-S.C., nor Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., will have to pay a $5,000 fine for allegedly skipping security screening at the House chamber after both prevailed in their appeals before the Ethics Committee.
In a flurry of announcements Thursday, the Ethics panel also announced it will continue its investigation into whether Del. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, D-Guam, had an improper sexual relationship with a subordinate in his congressional office and accepted excessive campaign contributions. Darren Soto, D-Fla., will serve as chair of the investigative subcommittee, and Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana will be the ranking member.
A spokesperson for San Nicolas did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
In February — in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection — the House adopted a rule that fines members when they circumvent security screening on the way to the floor. A $5,000 penalty is assessed on the first violation and $10,000 for each subsequent offense.
The successful appeals by Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, and Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, are the first granted by the Ethics Committee, which requires a majority agreement to drop the penalty.
In his letter to the Ethics panel, Rogers said he appealed because he disputes the facts and offered to appear before the committee to explain what happened.
“I’m very pleased that the Committee agreed that I did nothing wrong,” Rogers said in an emailed statement.
Clyburn, in his appeal, disputed the Capitol Police officer’s account that he deliberately avoided security screening.
“This is not true,” Clyburn wrote. “At no time did I refuse any officer’s request to submit to screening.”
A Clyburn spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
He also encouraged the panel to review firsthand accounts and any video footage of the interaction.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, got hit with a $5,000 fine and Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., was assessed a $15,000 penalty for repeatedly violating the rule. Both of them unsuccessfully appealed to the Ethics Committee. Clyde said he plans to take the matter to federal court.