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Over 8,000 threats against lawmakers were investigated by Capitol Police in 2023

US Capitol Police
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"These kind of incidents threaten really the fabric of our democracy,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

(CNN) — US Capitol Police said it investigated more than 8,000 threats against members of Congress last year – an increase of about 500 cases from the previous year, according to data released Thursday by the department.

In 2023, the USCP’s Threat Assessment Section investigated 8,008 cases, Capitol Police said, an increase from the previous year’s 2022 assessment of 7,501 threats against lawmakers.

The 2023 cases include investigations into concerning statements and direct threats, according to a release from Capitol Police.

USCP said both Democratic and Republican members of Congress “receive a wide range of threats and concerning statements that are sent through the mail, email, telephone, and social media/the internet.”

Last year, a New Hampshire college student pleaded guilty to federal charges of threatening to kill a member of Congress after targeting Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. Several Republicans who opposed a House speakership bid for Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said they received angry calls and death threats after casting their votes.

The number of threats against lawmakers typically surge in an election year, according to the USCP.

USCP Assistant Chief of Police for Protective and Intelligence Operations Ashan Benedict said in a statement, “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.”

“I am proud of our agents who are working around the clock and across the nation to keep up with a significant caseload to protect the Members of Congress and the Capitol Complex,” said USCP Chief Tom Manger said in a statement.

Attorney General Merrick Garland told CNN in an exclusive interview there has been an “alarming rise” in all kinds of threats of violence against elected officials, law enforcement and members of the judiciary.

“These are the people who keep this country going in the public spaces and protect us and keep us secure. And these kind of incidents threaten really the fabric of our democracy,” Garland said.

Written by Adrienne Winston and Rashard Rose

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