Threats to lawmakers have nearly DOUBLED in the first two months of 2021 as security is ramped up in DC ahead of reports of plot by far-right group to breach Capitol on Thursday

Daily Mail

The number of threats made to lawmakers has almost doubled in the first two months of 2021 compared to last year, acting head of Capitol Police revealed Wednesday, as fallout ensues following the Capitol riots on January 6.

‘In the first two months of 2021, there has been a 93.54 percent increase in threats to Members compared to the same period in 2020,’ Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in prepared statements. ‘And from 2017 to 2020, there has been a 118.66 percent increase in total threats and directions of interests, with the overwhelming majority of suspects residing outside of the NCR [National Capital Region].’

Pittman, in prepared testimony for a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch on Wednesday morning, is going to ask the panel for a 20 per cent increase in appropriations for the U.S. Capitol Police to bolster security in light of the massive increase in threats.

The request for a $619.33 million budget for the department in fiscal year 2022, Pittman argues, is specifically ‘centered on member security’ outside Washington – since she outlines most of the threats are not coming from within the beltway.

In the week leading up to Congress certifying the Electoral College results for Joe Biden on January 6 and in the weeks following the riots that day, lawmakers – especially Democrats and some known Republican defectors – started receiving a heightened slew of threats to their offices.

Shortly after the attack on the nation’s capital over the ire of Congress refusing to ‘Stop the Steal,’ approximately 26,000 National Guard troops were deployed to Washington, D.C. and a massive security fence topped with razor wire was erected song the entire perimeter of the Capitol complex.

Metal detectors were also placed outside the House Chamber by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ensure lawmakers and their staff did not bring weapons, mainly guns, to the floor, an initiative she claims will help bolster security efforts.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Pittman also plans to outline security needs at the Capitol – not just in lawmakers’ home districts.

‘On the Capitol Complex, the level of existential threats to the U.S. Capitol and Grounds are

increasing as well,’ Pittman prepared in her testimony. ‘This was abundantly clear on January 6, 2021, when insurrectionists attempted to prevent the Congress from certifying the 2020 Electoral College results by storming the U.S. Capitol.’

‘Due to the heroic actions of USCP officers, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department, the National Guard, and many other of our law enforcement partners, the violent rioters were prevented from accomplishing their goal,’ Pittman said.

Aacting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett alerted members of Congress on Tuesday that there will be heightened security at the Capitol on Thursday due to far-right conspiracy theories circulating claiming that March 4 is the ‘true inauguration day.’

People associated with QAnon have been pushing the claim that Trump will be inaugurated on that day.

Capitol Police posted a statement to Twitter Tuesday evening saying: ‘[B]ased on the intelligence we have, the department has taken immediate steps to enhance our security posture and staffing for a number of days, to include March 4th.’

Capitol Police were forced to defend the Capitol for hours by themselves on January 6 as a mob of pro-Trump protesters descended on the complex and were able to storm inside the building.

Eventually, the National Guard was brought in to help fend off the remaining rioters.

More than 30 lawmakers signed a letter at the end of January calling for greater protection in their districts, noting threats against members have sharply increased.

One of the lawmakers most targeted by the pro-Trump mob is progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, more commonly referred to as AOC.

A Texas man who participated in the January 6 Capitol siege was charged in January with threatening the New York congresswoman by, according to court documents, tweeting: ‘Assassinate AOC.’

A California man was arrested a few weeks after the January 6 riot after being charged with sending threatening messages to members of Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries’ family.

‘Your brother is putting your entire family at risk,’ one message sent to Jeffries’ sibling read. ‘We are armed and nearby your house.’

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who voted to advance Donald Trump second impeachment earlier this year, told The Washington Post that he had received multiple menacing messages.

‘The ones I worry about are not the ones that type out a threat,’ the Illinois Republican said. ‘It’s the ones who just do it.’

Pittman says that to ensure the safety of members in light of the increased threats, it will require the Capitol Police to have a dedicated standby ready force at all times of two platoons, which would equate 80 officers.

She says this will ‘thereby removing the department’s full reliance on partner agencies for mission support when faced with an immediate threat event.’


2 thoughts on “Threats to lawmakers have nearly DOUBLED in the first two months of 2021 as security is ramped up in DC ahead of reports of plot by far-right group to breach Capitol on Thursday

  1. They’ve earned every bit of it
    Shut up , quit yer bitchin do the people’s work or get out
    Stop violating our Bill of Rights with your useless policy

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