House

Capitol Police say threats to lawmakers spiked in 2021

U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) said Friday that threats to lawmakers have more than doubled compared to last year.

Threats have risen by 107 percent since last year, the USCP said in a statement on Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton's latest report to Congress.

"As the Department has previously reported, 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. Provided the unique threat environment we currently live in, the Department is confident the number of cases will continue to increase," the department said.

The USCP said the most influential recommendations from Bolton are those regarding "increasing threat assessment manpower and restructuring the Department to establish a stand-alone counter-surveillance entity."

The department also came out in support of Bolton's suggestion that the police agency's Threat Assessment Section be modeled after that of the United States Secret Service, which is in charge of handling threats made against the White House.

Bolton is expected to lay out his recommendations Monday when he testifies in front of the House Administration Committee on threats to the Capitol.

The USCP noted that expansions of its operations will "require resources and authorization."

"Since the events of January 6th, USCP leadership team has been working closely with Congressional oversight to seek the needed resources to implement the OIG's recommendations, as well as those from other reviews and assessments," the department said in its statement, referencing the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The statement comes as lawmakers debate adding funding to the USCP's budget and implementing several other security measures around the Capitol, including possible permanent fencing. 

The Jan. 6 riot, which led to the deaths of several people, exposed startling security flaws in the Capitol complex. Lawmakers have reported being harassed in public spaces and have spent thousands of dollars on personal security measures like body armor in light of the spike in threats.

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