The increase in threats to U.S. lawmakers over the past two years has also extended to their family members, and the lack of federal protections for family members has frustrated some members of Congress, according to federal law enforcement officials.
Security details for lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will not protect their family members, including spouses, in the Congressman’s absence, according to multiple sources. Some lawmakers have received additional security from local police departments and private contractors.
Republican Rep. Paul Pelosi after Pelosi’s husband was attacked. Adam Kinsinger told CNN that threats to his own family included references to killing his young children. But when he asked the U.S. Capitol Police for extra security, they basically told him to “stand in line,” Kinsinger said.
Like other lawmakers, Kinsinger’s security details don’t protect his family when he’s not around, and the lack of assistance from Capitol Police means his campaign will have to pay for any extra security.
Law enforcement agencies have been grappling with how to respond to these threats after Jan. 1, sources familiar with the threat landscape told CNN. On June 6, 2021, the attack on the United States Capitol.
in the months following January. 6 Uprising, Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies work to increase protections for members of Congress in Washington, D.C. and returning home.
Capitol Police declined to comment when asked Friday about the safety of the lawmakers’ families.
A senior Capitol Hill aide told CNN that Capitol Police are now evaluating additional security options to protect the families of congressional leaders.
Federal law enforcement agencies have been warning of an increasing threat of politically motivated violence after Jan. 1. 6, raised specific concerns about the potential for online appeals to violence to lead to real-world attacks.
Capitol Police tracked about 9,600 threats in 2021 against the people and locations the department is charged with protecting, according to the latest statistics. It’s unclear how many threats were directed at family members.
Several lawmakers have sought additional protection from the U.S. Capitol Police after threats from their families, but the agency largely lacks the resources and training to meet those demands, according to a source familiar with the matter.