- US Capitol Police said threats against members of Congress have increased 107% since last year.
- The number of cases is only expected to increase, the agency said on Friday.
- The safety of Congress has been an ongoing topic of concern since the Capitol riot on January 6.
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The number of threats against members of Congress have increased 107% since last year, US Capitol Police said on Friday.
“The number of threats made against Congress has increased significantly. This year alone, there has been a 107% increase in threats against Members compared to 2020,” the agency said in a statement. “Provided the unique threat environment we currently live in, the Department is confident the number of cases will continue to increase.”
“In 2020, the [US Secret Service], which has more than 100 agents and analysts, had approximately 8,000 cases,” the statement added. “During the same time period, the USCP, which has just over 30 agents and analysts, had approximately 9,000 cases.”
To address this, Capitol Police said it supported “increasing threat assessment manpower and restructuring the Department to establish a stand-alone counter-surveillance entity – both of which require resources and authorization.”
The security of the US Capitol has been a topic of ongoing concern in Washington, DC, since the fatal insurrection on January 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building and attacked police officers while searching for lawmakers. Five people were killed, including a Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. The riot saw thousands of National Guard troops deployed to the nation’s capital and led to enhanced security measures surrounding the Capitol.
Then-President Donald Trump provoked the deadly riot, delivering an incendiary speech filled with lies about the 2020 election shortly before the violence and mayhem began. Trump falsely claimed the election was stolen, and that he’d actually won. The pro-Trump mob descended upon the Capitol as congressional lawmakers met to certify President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, delaying the process. Trump was ultimately impeached for a second time over his role in inciting the riot.
Many lawmakers said they feared for their lives during the insurrection and some reported that they thought they’d have to fight their way out of the situation. One House Republican grabbed a Civil War sword from a nearby display during the riot as a potential means of protection.
The attack marked the most significant breach of the Capitol since the War of 1812.
In his first speech to Congress last week, Biden described the riot as “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”