An increase in threats against U.S. lawmakers over the past two years has also extended to their family members, according to federal law enforcement officials, and a lack of federal protections for family members frustrated some members of Congress.
The security detail for lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, does not protect their family members, including spouses, when members of Congress are not with them, according to multiple sources. Some lawmakers received additional security in their home district from local police departments and private contractors.
After the attack on Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN the threats against his own family included one that mentioned the murder of his young child. But when he asked the US Capitol police for extra security, they basically told him to “get in line,” Kinzinger said.
Like other lawmakers, Kinzinger’s security department fails to protect his family when he’s not with them, and the lack of assistance provided by Capitol police means his campaign would have to foot the security bill. additional.
Calls for violence against lawmakers online and elsewhere have referred to both elected officials and their families, according to sources familiar with the threat environment who told CNN that law enforcement has stepped up. asked how to deal with these threats in the aftermath of January 6. 2021, attack on the United States Capitol.
In the months following the January 6 insurrection, Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies worked to increase protection for members of Congress while in Washington, D.C., and qu ‘they return to their district of origin.
Capitol police declined to comment when asked Friday about the safety of lawmakers’ families.
A Capitol Hill senior aide told CNN that Capitol Police are currently evaluating additional security options for protecting the families of congressional leaders.
Federal law enforcement agencies have consistently warned of the growing threat of politically motivated violence after Jan. 6, raising specific concerns about the likelihood that calls for violence online will lead to attacks in the real world.
According to the most recent statistics, Capitol Police tracked approximately 9,600 threats in 2021 against the people and places the department is charged with protecting. It is not known how many threats were made against family members.
Several lawmakers have asked U.S. Capitol police for additional protection after receiving threats against their families, but the agency is largely under-resourced and trained to meet those demands, according to a source familiar with the matter.