The Capitol Police force has listed a job posting for a prosecutor within its ranks, raising constitutional questions about the chain of command.
The posting, reported by Fox News, says the employee would serve as a special assistant U.S. attorney but operate in the Capitol Police‘s district offices.
The government is advertising the position amid ongoing concern about political violence and intense scrutiny of the events on Jan. 6, 2021, when members of Congress were placed at risk by a marauding mob stirred by President Donald Trump’s unproven claims about the 2020 election.
“This position is to represent the United States Government primarily prosecuting individuals and/or groups who have engaged in threats and/or acts of violence against Members of Congress, their staffs, United States Capitol Police employees, visitors to the Capitol complex, and facilities and properties within the Capitol Complex,” the listing says.
Mike Davis, a former counsel for Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and the founder of the Article 3 Project, said he is concerned about the arrangement.
“It is constitutionally wrong to have prosecutors report to law enforcement. It should be the other way around,” Mr. Davis told Fox.
The Article 3 Project on its website says its mission is to “defend constitutionalist judges, punch back on radical assaults on judicial independence (like court-packing), and oppose judicial and other nominees who are outside of the mainstream.”
Mr. Davis also said that congressional leaders should not have the power to nominate the board that oversees the Capitol Police. He fears the proposed prosecutor will effectively fall under the legislative branch, instead of its normal position in the executive branch under the Justice Department.
Capitol Police officials told The Daily Wire that the idea for the prosecutor did not come from a member of Congress.
The listing says the prosecutor will report to the Capitol Police deputy and general counsel, though also be “under the direct supervision and authority of the co-located District U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
Mr. Davis argued that in the real world, the prosecutor’s proximity to Capitol Police will make them the controlling agency.