The Capitol Police suspended one of its officers Monday after a printed copy of an anti-Semitic text was found at a security checkpoint inside a congressional office building. The printed copy of The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion, a fabricated virulent account of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world that has been used as propaganda for a century, was spotted by a congressional aide when leaving the office Sunday evening.
The staffer, Zach Fisch, chief of staff for Democratic New York Rep. Mondaire Jones, took a photo of the pamphlet, which was sitting in plain sight at a security checkpoint at the Longworth Building. The pages of the text were well worn and held together by a binder clip. “This is both a national security problem and a workplace safety problem,” Fisch tweeted later about the discovery. “Our office is full of people—Black, brown, Jewish, queer—who have good reason to fear white supremacists.” The Washington Post asked the Capitol Police for comment on the photo Monday morning, and by that evening acting Chief Yogananda Pittman announced the suspension of an officer “after anti-Semitic reading material was discovered near his work area on Sunday.”
The bizarre brazenness of openly reading or possessing the text on the Capitol campus is a worrying sign, particularly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that was fueled, in part, by anti-Semitic tropes and white nationalist beliefs of many of the pro-Trump participants. The January riot sparked concern about the police, the military, and the potential radicalization of members of the American security apparatus.