A federal grand jury has subpoenaed a House staffer who allegedly witnessed an incident between Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) and a U.S. Capitol Police officer last week.
A staffer for Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in the case. Farr’s office confirmed on Wednesday night that one of its staffers had received the subpoena but offered no other comments on the matter. Reached on Wednesday night, a lawyer for McKinney said he did not know of any grand jury hearing being convened in the case.
The issuance of at least one grand jury subpoena seems to indicate that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is moving quickly to determine what occurred in the highly publicized altercation at a Longworth House Office Building security checkpoint. The Capitol Police turned over its findings from an investigation into the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s office on Monday.
Media reports late Wednesday indicate that a second staffer, from a Republican office, may also have been called by the grand jury as well.
A grand jury investigation into the matter does not mean McKinney will be charged with any crime, but it could potentially lead to charges and the issuance of an arrest warrant. The Georgia Democrat continues to mount a press offensive questioning whether she was a victim of racial profiling at the hands of the Capitol Police.
The controversy began last Wednesday morning, when a Capitol Police officer asked McKinney to go through a magnetometer at a security checkpoint and she refused, according to a police source.
Members are not required to pass through magnetometers, but according to reports the officer did not recognize McKinney, who, in addition to not wearing her Member’s pin, had abandoned braids for a short hairstyle.
McKinney’s refusal prompted the officer to grab her arm and restrain her, the source said. McKinney then yelled, “Don’t touch me,” and hit the officer in the chest with her mobile phone, the source added.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.