- The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Threats against members of Congress decreased in 2022 but remained historically high, according to U.S. Capitol Police figures.

The USCP Threat Assessment Section opened 7,501 investigations into concerning statements and direct threats against lawmakers last year. That’s down from 9,625 in 2021 and 8,613 in 2020, but Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the case counts “are still too high.”

The threats against lawmakers were similarly distributed between both parties, according to the USCP.

The USCP opened 6,955 similar cases in 2019, 5,206 in 2018 and 3,939 in 2017.

“This has resulted in a necessary expansion of, not only our investigative capabilities, but our protection responsibilities as well,” Chief Manger said. “While that work is ongoing, everyone continuing to decrease violent political rhetoric across the country is the best way to keep everyone safe.”

The USCP’s consulting psychologist, Mario Scalora, said those making threats against lawmakers “feel more emboldened” by a “false sense of anonymity” on social media. 

“This is not a problem we can only arrest our way out of,” Mr. Scalora said.

The increased threats led the USCP to expand its presence to field offices in Florida and California in 2021.

Capitol Police officials have also hired lawyers who specialized in threats against members of Congress. Those lawyers are being detailed to the Department of Justice as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys to prosecute the cases.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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