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Threats to Congress decreased after record high in 2021, but are still concerning: Police

(WASHINGTON) — Reported threats to members of Congress in 2022 declined by more than 2,000 since the record-breaking 9,625 that were reported in 2021, according to statistics released on Tuesday by the U.S. Capitol Police.

In total, there were 7,501 threat cases investigated by Capitol Police last year, the agency said.

“The threats against Members of Congress are still too high,” Chief Tom Manger said in a statement. “This has resulted in a necessary expansion of, not only our investigative capabilities, but our protection responsibilities as well.”

“While that work is ongoing, everyone continuing to decrease violent political rhetoric across the country is the best way to keep everyone safe,” Manger said.

The record-high threats two years ago came in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which temporarily sent members of Congress into lockdown. Despite the decrease in 2022, there were notable incidents of violence related to lawmakers.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was assaulted at their California home in October. The suspect was allegedly looking for Nancy Pelosi, according to police.

Threats to members of Congress have been on the rise since 2017, when there were 3,939, according to Capitol Police data.

As part of its response, the agency has hired attorneys who are detailed to the Department of Justice to work as prosecutors specializing in the threat cases. These prosecutors, known as special assistant U.S. attorneys, do not work on cases related to Jan. 6.

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