‘You have the authority’: Hillsborough GOP pens letter urging DeSantis to stop Capitol Police from opening Tampa office

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —The Hillsborough County Republican Party has sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calling on him to oppose the United States Capitol Police’s plans to establish a field office in Tampa.

The group tweeted the two-page letter from its official account on Wednesday morning but was deleted by Wednesday evening.

“Governor DeSantis, you Must withdraw and terminate any real or perceived permissions,” the letter penned by Chairman Col. Jim Waurishuk stated. “The existence of Capitol Police and the FBI in our State is a global statement that Florida Sheriffs and Peace Officers are incompetent and incapable of doing their jobs. Further, this is a slap in the face to our local Sheriffs and Police officers.”

Citing Article 1 section 8 clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, the letter claimed the federal government has no authority to establish any presence in a state without its permission. The USCP is a CALEA nationally-accredited federal law enforcement agency.

“As governor, you have the authority to deny this intrusion upon our state, our people and our Constitution,” the letter continued.

The clause in the Constitution states “to exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings,” but does not address state permission for federal offices.

The USCP said last week that it planned to open two field offices in Tampa and San Francisco to investigate threats against members of Congress, most of which originated from Florida and California.

“The field offices will be the first for the Department,” a USCP representative told 8 On Your Side. “A regional approach to investigating and prosecuting threats against Members of Congress is important so we will be working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in those locations.”

The move comes more than six months after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in four deaths among those participating in the riot. U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after the attack. Two other officers died of suicide. More than 150 officers were injured in the attack; 86 Capitol Police officers reported injuries. More than 500 people have been arrested, 55 of which are from Florida.

“The U.S. Capitol Police helps keep everyone safe, and the officers are smart to partner with local law enforcement agencies, especially Tampa Bay law enforcement, expert federal prosecutors and agents in Florida. They all have a strong track record of working together for the safety and security of all,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL14) said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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