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Clyburn Disputes Metal Detector Accusation

Lawmaker could become the first Democrat fined under new safety protocols
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2021 4:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – The House sergeant-at-arms has accused Rep. James Clyburn of a metal detector violation, imposing a $5,000 fine. Timothy Blodgett wrote to the House Ethics Committee that Clyburn avoided metal detectors Tuesday on his way to the House floor, the Hill reports. A filing by US Capitol Police said Clyburn wasn't cleared when he returned to the floor from the restroom, adding that he "deliberately avoided being screened." A spokesperson for Clyburn said the South Carolina lawmaker "respects the rules of the chamber, and he disputes the characterization of this incident," per Politico. He plans to appeal, per CNN.

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The new safety protocols were put in place after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Clyburn voted to approve new fines, which are deducted from the lawmaker's pay, for going around the metal detectors. The first violation costs $5,000 and the second $10,000. If the fine stands, it would be the first levied against a House Democrat. Several Republicans have been fined, including one—Rep. Louie Gohmert—who was returning from the same men's room. Asked about the accusation, Clyburn said, "It's just somebody on the other side trying to cause mischief," per CNN, though he didn't say what that statement was based on. (Read more James Clyburn stories.)

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