Suing Nancy Pelosi Was Reason for Sidestepping House Metal Detectors, Says GOP's Andrew Clyde

Georgia congressman Andrew Clyde announced plans to sue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after he was fined $15,000 for bypassing metal detectors to enter the Capitol.

In February, House Democrats passed a rule saying that lawmakers would be fined $5,000 for refusing to go through metal detectors outside of congressional chambers. Lawmakers who refuse again would be fined an additional $10,000. The metal detectors were put in place as an additional security precaution following the January 6 riot, where supporters of former President Donald Trump invaded the Capitol building. Lawmakers are given 30 calendar days or five legislative days to appeal the fine to the House Ethics Committee.

Clyde has broken the rule twice and told Fox News on Saturday that he did so with the plan to try to sue the House Speaker. "I did that so we would have legal standing to take the case to federal court, and that's exactly what I'm going to do," he told Fox.

Clyde said that getting fined was part of his strategy in fighting the rule, and he is prepared for a legal battle. "I'm all teed up to do that. People have to stand for the Constitution. And if I have to get fined in order to give me a legal standing to do that then I'll be fined," he told the network.

Texas Representative Louis Gohmert has also been fined $5,000 for not going through the metal detector.

In an earlier statement, he had said that it was his right to enter the House floor "unimpeded."

Despite saying that getting fined was "preplanned" and he was "taking a hit for the team," the Georgia congressman seemed confident in getting the law overturned. "We're going to win on this and we're going to have House Resolution 73 declared unconstitutional because it is unconstitutional," he said.

After receiving his first fine, Clyde spoke about his desire to fight the metal detector rule. In a February statement, he said that he was "filing this appeal symbolically on behalf of my constituents." He continued, saying GOP accusations that Pelosi had also bypassed the metal detectors called for her to be fined as well. "I look forward to continuing the appeal process, and I trust the Committee will review my case with the same fairness and due process they will surely afford the Speaker once her fine for allegedly breaking her own rule is processed," he said.

Current rules also do not allow representatives to bring guns onto the House floor. Speaking about his desire to legally carry his firearm, Clyde also stated that he felt that members of Congress should also be allowed to carry on the floor. "We should be able to carry on the House floor, and the Democrats should have no fear of that whatsoever," he told Fox.

Newsweek reached out to Clyde's office for comment.

Andrew Clyde Georgia Metal Detectors
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) poses for a photo as newly elected Republican House members meet on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for a group photo on January 04, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The congressman said he intentionally bypassed House metal detectors to gain "legal standing" against Nancy Pelosi. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images