My daughter asked me that one night after my shift for the Capitol Police. Just what could I possibly arrest members of either the Senate or the House of Representatives for? Apparently, the question was stimulated by a very interesting discussion in her civics class at school that afternoon.
She knows that I’ve pulled over members of Congress before, or dealt with investigations where I interacted with them. They’ve been witnesses most of the time, but sometimes suspects, but also even victims.
I told her the three truths she should know about. First off, they’re American citizens like everyone else. They aren’t above the law, even if they are members of the group that writes the laws of the land. If they’re caught doing something that they should be arrested for, then they’re typically arrested.
That lead me to the second truth though. I said typically arrested, because let’s face it, if I’m going to arrest a politician, I better be darn sure I’ve got my evidence and my reasons, because that case is going to take a lot of scrutiny.
The third truth though, is that while members of Congress have much higher standards to live by, they don’t necessarily get arrested by the Capitol Police for breaking certain rules. Violations of national security regulations would be a federal matter. Leaking internal documents and breaching the rules of conduct within Congress would also be handled internally.
It’s very rare for a member of either house of Congress to get fully arrested for something. Usually when there are some shenanigans or even suspicion of it, they resign their seat long in advance of actually getting arrested. Regardless of creed or party, politicians that make it to Congress are typically smart enough to either not do dumb things, or just not get caught.