Dec 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Threats against lawmakers continue to surge, Capitol Police say

Capitol Police chief speaking while sitting.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger on March 30, in Washington, DC. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Capitol Police recorded more than 9,000 threats against members of Congress this past year, Chief of Police Thomas Manger said Monday during a Senate Rules Committee hearing.

Why it matters: Threats against federal lawmakers have surged about 400% in the past six years, Manger said, calling it "a sobering number."

What he's saying: "I cannot overstate the scope, breadth, and intensity of the nation’s current threat climate," Manger said in his opening statement. "Hate, intolerance, and violence are part of this disturbing trend."

  • "This past year the Department saw more than 9,000 threats against Members of Congress," Manger said.
  • "The attacks on Rep. Lee Zeldin and Paul Pelosi, as well as the threats directed towards other members of Congress, are a sad reminder of the extent to which our social fabric has frayed."

The big picture: Violence and threats of violence against lawmakers have been on the rise since former President Trump took office in 2017, stoking fear among members of Congress.

What's next: Manger noted Monday that since the Jan. 6 insurrection, Capitol Police has “made great strides” toward improving security and addressing staffing shortages, but said "there is still more work to be done."

  • He said the department is primarily focused on "threat assessment and mitigation, fully reopening the Capitol and staffing."

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