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House Ethics Committee drops metal detector fines for No. 3 Dem and one GOP rep

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Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.)/(Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

The House Ethics Committee has dropped the hefty $5,000 fines imposed against No. 3 Democrat Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) and Kentucky Republican Rep. Harold Rogers (Ky.) for allegedly skirting past metal detectors while entering the chamber, after both men disputed the accounts made by Capitol Police.

What are the details?

The committee revealed Thursday that the appeals of Clyburn, 80, and Rogers, 83, would be granted and neither of the lawmakers would be charged, but the panel did not provide an explanation for the decision.

The Hill noted that the committee is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, thus the majority opinion "indicates that the decisions regarding Clyburn and Rogers were bipartisan."

The Associated Press reported that both veteran congressmen had filed one-page letters "disputing the accusations" against them as reported by Capitol Police.

The committee was not as forgiving when it came to two other Republicans previously fined.

Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) were the first to be hit with such fines in February, but their appeals were both denied by the committee. GOP members argued at the time that Pelosi was seen skirting security, too, but she was never fined.

The Washington Examiner pointed out that "Clyburn's situation is similar to Gohmert, who said he walked to the House floor through a metal detector from one entrance and exited the floor briefly to use the same Speaker's Lobby restroom."

Gohmert was charged $5,000, while Clyde was fined $15,000 for two offenses. The Georgia lawmaker "said he plans to take the matter to federal court," Roll Call reported.

What's the background?

Following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, new security checkpoints were set up outside the doors entering the House chamber. After pushback from GOP members, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) imposed a $5,000 fine for a first offense of dodging the metal detectors, and a $10,000 penalty for a second offense.

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