Rep. Pocan says Rep. Van Orden conduct “unbecoming” towards teens in capitol

FILE - Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis.
FILE - Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis.(NBC15)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 7:34 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAW) - U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement after he reviewed the security footage showing Rep. Derrick Van Orden (WI-03) verbally harassing teenage Senate pages while they were inside the U.S. Capitol rotunda this past summer:

“This video was bad and unbecoming of a Member of Congress. There is no way to prove Derrick was drunk, but this is not behavior a sober or sane person would do. He looked unbalanced and had belligerent hand gestures when he was threatening these teenagers. He towered over many of them and then followed them when they got up to leave. This was abusive behavior intended to frighten these pages.

“It’s odd enough to have a raging party in your office until midnight. But even more concerning is taking a large group of people to tour the Capitol at midnight and pushing others around to show off, including a bow to his guests afterward. Representative Van Orden’s behavior does not reflect Wisconsin values and he owes each of the pages and his constituents an apology.”

In July, Van Orden responded to a report about the incident and said, “I have long said our nation’s Capitol is a symbol of the sacrifice our servicemen and women have made for this country and should never be treated like a frat house common room.”

Pocan added, “There are privacy and safety concerns of the young Senate pages and their families about releasing the video footage for fear of retribution from MAGA activists. Due to these concerns, the video will not be released.”