US Capitol Police Seeks More Resources After Pelosi Attack

US Capitol Police Seeks More Resources After Pelosi Attack
U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger testifies during the Senate Rules and Administration Committee oversight hearing in Washington on Jan. 5, 2022 (Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images)
Joseph Lord

U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief J. Thomas Manger is asking the federal government to provide resources after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband reported an assault in their California home.

Paul Pelosi was attacked in the Pelosi’s home by David DePape on Oct. 28, according to authoritiesPolice have alleged that DePape was trying to murder Nancy Pelosi.

Now the USCP is asking for more resources in view of the attack.

“Friday’s attack against Paul Pelosi is an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate,” Manger said in a lengthy statement.

Manger cited past attacks on former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and noted that after these attacks the USCP bumped up its security measures.

“With the increasing number of threats against elected officials from city council members to federal judges, our work to further our efforts to protect the Members of Congress becomes increasingly urgent,” the statement continued.

Nancy Pelosi was in Washington when the attack on her husband occurred, according to the USCP. No security was present at the Pelosis’ home.

Nancy Pelosi is third in line for the presidency.

Once a relatively small organization mostly concerned with security on U.S. Capitol grounds, the USCP has expanded its scope substantially since the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that ended in the Capitol being breached.

In July 2021, the agency announced its intention to open new field offices to assist in investigating threats against members of Congress. The decision was critiqued by some as going beyond the bounds of the USCP mission.

Manger is looking to further expand the scope of his agency after the attack on Pelosi.

Following a review of the incident, “We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for Members of Congress,” Manger said.

Manger mentioned a “plan” that he said “would include an emphasis on adding redundancies to the measures that are already in place for Congressional leadership.”

He added, “Hopefully you can understand that we cannot disclose the details about these improvements because our country cannot afford to make it easier for any potential bad actors.”

“During this time of heightened political tension, we continue to monitor thousands of cases across the country—in an effort to stop potential threats before they make headlines,” the statement continued. “During the past five-years, roughly 12-percent of cases—in which we identified people making threats—have been prosecuted.

“We hope to see more of these cases prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“The USCP is working tirelessly to keep everyone safe during this tense time in American politics,” Manger concluded. “We understand the urgency of today’s challenges and remain committed to our mission.”

Calls By Members for Expanded Security

Manger’s statement comes after several congressmen asked for additional security for members of their families in the wake of the attack.

“I understand that the speaker has a detail but we really need, at least for the leadership, to have Capitol Police at the residences like we do for Supreme Court justices,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said on CNN.

Providing security can’t happen for every member of Congress, Khanna said.

“But certainly for the leadership—who are high-profile—you can do that,” he said. “And if there are some members of Congress who have threats, and unfortunately some of my colleagues do, they need better protection.”

Some congressional leaders receive security but their families and residences aren’t covered at present.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said that “it cannot be solely the members’ and elected officials’ responsibility to provide for their families security.”

“We need more ways to protect members and their families,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) told Axios.
The House’s sergeant-at-arms said over the summer that the federal government would pay for security system equipment at the homes of members, but capped the scheme at $10,000 per member. The sergeant-at-arms also offered to provide up to $150 a month for ongoing costs.

Nearly 9,700 threats were recorded in 2021, more than double the number in 2017.

“The biggest challenge I think we have is keeping up with the number of threats. We’ve doubled the number of officers that investigate these threats, agents that investigate these threats, and if they continue to go up the way they have clearly we are going to need additional officers to assign to this responsibility,” Manger said.

The USCP received increased funding for fiscal year 2023 in part to provide additional “threat based” protective details for members. Manger also said that the USCP works with local officers when members return to their home districts to try to ensure the safety and security of lawmakers.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report. 
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