WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Threats against members of the US Congress during the first four months of 2021 – the period following the deadly January 6 storming of the Capitol by violent Trump supporters – increased 65 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told Congress on Wednesday.
“In the first four months of this year, we’ve had a 65 percent increase in threats against members compared to 2020,” Pittman told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on. “The capital complex is also a target.”
Pittman said many officers remain traumatized by the January 6 riot, as well as the subsequent deaths of three officers: Brian Sicknick who died one day after the riot, Howard Liebengood, who responded to the riot and later committed suicide, and the death of William Evans, who was killed earlier this month after being rammed by a car outside the Capitol.
Even before the riot, Capitol Police faced an increase in threats, which rose 119 percent from 2017 to 2020, Pittman said.
In addition to protecting the Capitol complex, the force of just under 2,000 officers provides security details for congressional leaders in their home districts and and also investigates threats against members of Congress, much like the US Secret Service, which protects the US president and vice president.