Threats to Members of Congress Have Nearly Doubled in 2021, Police Chief Says

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Threats to Members of Congress Have Nearly Doubled in 2021, Police Chief Says” – below is their description.

    Threats to members of Congress have nearly doubled in the first two months of this year compared to the same time period last year, according to the acting head of the U.S. Capitol Police, who plans to ask Congress for a more than 20% budget increase for the department.

    In testimony prepared for a Wednesday House hearing, acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said there has been a 94% increase in threats to lawmakers in January and February in the aftermath of a Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol stoked by former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the presidential election was stolen from him.

    A “significant focus” for Capitol Police in the next fiscal year “is centered on member security” outside Washington, Pittman plans to say in a Wednesday hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch.

    Pittman will also outline other security needs at the Capitol and its surrounding buildings. The Jan. 6 attack by a mob of Trump supporters trying to stop the formal counting of the Electoral College votes that certified Joe Biden won the presidency shows that “the level of existential threats to the U.S. Capitol and grounds are increasing as well,” she will say.

    Separately, acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett alerted lawmakers Tuesday that there will be heightened security Thursday at the Capitol tied to conspiracy theories about March 4 being the “true inauguration day.” People associated with the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon have been circulating the baseless claim that Trump would inaugurated on that day.

    On Tuesday night, the Capitol Police posted a statement on Twitter saying that “based 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.”

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