Capitol Police Report Spike in Threats Against Lawmakers

Capitol Police Report Spike in Threats Against Lawmakers

( – In a new report, US Capitol Police (USCP) said there were more than 8,000 threats against lawmakers in 2023, an increase of more than 500 since 2022.

It was also suggested that the issue will continue in 2024. According to a statement, USCP Assistant Chief of Protective and Intelligence Operations Ashan Benedict said, “With the political conventions, Member campaigns, and many issues being debated on Capitol Hill, this is going to be a very busy year for our special agents.”

The agency declared that the 8,008 cases investigated by USCP in 2023 include both concerning statements and direct threats. It adds that both Republicans and Democrats are targeted and receive threats via phone calls, email, and social media. The most recent number still doesn’t reach the heights of 2021, which saw a total of 9,625 threats. However, it’s still far higher than the numbers from 2018 and 2019.

Among those instances was the case of a New Hampshire student who threatened to kill Floridian Rep. Matt Gaetz. Allan Poller, a student at Keene State College, pleaded guilty in October of phoning the Congressman and leaving an expletive-filled message warning that if Gaetz continued “coming for the gays,” they would strike back and kill him if necessary. Poller later said he was “emotional and intoxicated” at the time.

Similarly, 72-year-old Michael Shapiro from Florida threatened to kill Californian Rep. Eric Swalwell and left voicemails warning that he would also come after Swalwell’s children.

In December, a man from Dover, New Hampshire, responded to a text message notifying him of a campaign rally for GOP Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, saying the event would provide him with an opportunity to kill Ramaswamy and the attendants.

In recent remarks, Attorney General Merrick Garland said such threats against lawmakers place the “fabric of our democracy” in jeopardy. USCP Chief Tom Manger added that he is proud of his officers, who work round the clock to ensure the protection of Members of Congress, even during a significant caseload increase. He said USCP would work with the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms to improve security in 2024.

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