House Oversight asks for information on federal employee threats

Carolyn Maloney
Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., asks a question during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing to examine the practices and profits of gun manufacturers, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) sent a letter on Wednesday to the Federal Protective Service asking about the agency’s efforts to protect federal employees in the wake of increased threats.

The letter, signed by Maloney and the panel’s national security subcommittee chairman, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), references messages sent by multiple federal agencies to employees in recent weeks warning of the heightened security risk.

The Federal Protective Service oversees physical security and law enforcement at roughly 9,000 federal facilities and their employees. The letter asks the agency for a briefing and detailed information on its efforts by Sept. 28. 

Maloney and Lynch in particular outlined threats to IRS agents after the agency received about $80 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act and those sent to the FBI after agents searched former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

“We are alarmed that leaders in the Republican Party have promoted false conspiracy theories and fueled violent threats against federal workers, putting the lives of law enforcement officials and other patriotic public servants at risk,” Maloney and Lynch wrote in the letter.

“For example, after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, top Republicans falsely suggested to their supporters that thousands of new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents were being hired to target and even kill Americans,” the letter continues.

The IRS has become a GOP bogeyman ahead of the midterms, with the party warning that the agency’s funding boost signed into law by President Biden will target middle-class Americans with an “army” of new enforcement agents.

The Hill has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Protective Service’s parent department, for comment.

Maloney and Lynch’s letter lists an array of comments from Republican lawmakers and other prominent GOP figures, including Trump, that the duo said have fueled the violent threats.

“The Committee is extremely concerned that this volatile threat environment puts federal employees in grave danger and at risk of violence,” they wrote.

The FBI and Justice Department in particular have seen an increase in threats amid scrutiny of their investigation into Trump and the search of his Florida residence.

Maloney and Lynch referenced an armed man who attempted to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati field office days after the search and an intelligence bulletin from the FBI and DHS warning of the heightened security risks.

“This flood of disinformation and violent threats against federal employees has already led to at least one death,” the lawmakers wrote.

Tags Carolyn Maloney Carolyn Maloney Carolyn Maloney Donald Trump FBI Federal Protective Service Federal Protective Service House Oversight Committee House Oversight Committee Internal Revenue Service Internal Revenue Service Joe Biden mar-a-lago search Stephen Lynch Stephen Lynch

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