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A members of the U.S. Capitol Police responds to demonstrators at the U.S. Capitol U.S. on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the first three months of 2021, U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) reported 4,135 threats against members of Congress, a rate so high that if it continues the total number of threats could be double the amount in 2020, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why it matters: The Jan. 6 Capitol riot put a renewed focus on security as well as the USCP shortcomings and constraints in addressing these threats.

The big picture: Threats against lawmakers have been rising exponentially for years. In 2016, Capitol Police investigated 902 such threats, but by 2018 that number had risen to 5,206, and to 8,613 by 2020, according to the Times.

  • Jan. 6 highlighted the acuity of security threats to lawmakers, some of whom temporarily relocated their families in the aftermath of the insurrection, or wore bulletproof vests to President Biden's inauguration, per the Times.

State of play: USCP has taken steps to better monitor and investigate threats.

  • In May USCP's inspector general recommended bolstering the force's intelligence gathering and surveillance activities, including by hiring more Threat Assessment Section agents and Investigative Analysts.
  • USCP is also in the process of opening field offices in California and Florida to investigate threats to members of Congress, since the majority of threats come from these states.
  • The events of Jan. 6 also prompted some lawmakers to act more proactively against threats, spending thousands of dollars of campaign funding to hire bodyguards for events and install security systems, according to the Times.

Go deeper

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican members of Congress, have criticized the department's treatment of rioters charged with crimes and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony will be his first appearance before the panel.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.

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