Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D., N.J.) has gone public with an extraordinary allegation against some of her colleagues that they conducted secret surveillance in a conspiracy with rioters at the Capitol. If true, those members could be criminally charged and expelled from the House. Conversely, if Sherrill has no such evidence, she could (and should) face a resolution of censure or resolution.
Sherrill said in a Tuesday night Facebook live address to her constituents that she witnessed the surveillance personally. She said unidentified members of Congress “had groups coming through the Capitol” in “a reconnaissance for the next day.” Sherrill pledged to see those lawmakers “are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.”
That is an unambiguous allegation of criminal conduct against colleagues. Once she names a member, she could also be the subject of a defamation action. This was a statement made off of the floor and not protected under the Speech and Debate Clause. It is coming from a member who was a former Navy pilot and a federal prosecutor….