A bipartisan group of representatives wrote a letter to House leadership Thursday requesting enhanced security at their district offices and homes.
Citing an increase in threats to members, they emphasized the lack of protection back in their district offices as opposed to the Capitol. At the moment, only House leadership gets a security detail.
“Protecting Members in their District is much harder because local law enforcement agencies are stretched and limited, and often don’t have sufficient staffing or money to provide regular protection to Members,” they wrote.
They emphasized that the problem is exacerbated by the readily available trove of personal information online, like addresses, family details and social media updates of the members’ whereabouts.
Members of Congress aren’t the only ones who have dealt with threats of that nature over the last year. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, who has been assigned a security detail, told the New York Times that his harassers found their way directly to his wife and children.
“It was the harassment of my wife, and particularly my children, that upset me more than anything else,” he said. “They knew where my kids work, where they live. The threats would come directly to my children’s phones, directly to my children’s homes.”
Fauci even reported opening an envelope of white power that had been mailed to him, the contents of which got all over his hands and body. Luckily, it was just a hoax.
It’s a sign of the times that House members are asking for money to beef up security at their district offices, and a crackdown of their publicly accessible information.
When the mob invaded and ransacked the Capitol, its members chanted “hang Mike Pence!” as the Vice President and his family fled. One rioter who has since been arrested posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) while he was storming the building.
Democratic members have also expressed fear of their Republican peers, especially after a contingent of House Republicans responded with indignant fury at having to go through metal detectors to get to the House floor after the insurrection. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) reportedly tried to bring a gun to the floor, prompting calls for investigation and his resignation.
But the bloodlust of the Trump era goes deeper than recent events.
Much of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which gained steam towards the beginning of President Donald Trump’s term, centers on the coming execution of Democratic politicians. Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA) was found this week to have participated in that violent fantasizing before she took office.
Read the letter here: