U.S. Capitol Police investigated more than 8,000 threats to members of Congress in 2023, the agency announced Thursday, an increase over the year prior.
There were about 7,500 threats in 2022, but both marks fall short of 2021’s total of about 9,600 — exacerbated by the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. The number of threats is highest in major election years, Capitol Police said.
The agency constantly tracks a “wide range of threats” through the mail, via phone and over social media and the wider internet. Capitol Police said it expects a higher rate of threats with the upcoming presidential election.
“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,” Assistant Chief Ashan Benedict said. “Our team is dedicated to putting all of our resources into protecting the Congress while we continue to grow in order to keep up with our expanding mission.”
Last year continued a rising trend for the number of threats against lawmakers, with 2022 marking the first decrease in threats in five years.
The agency “has made dozens of changes to improve intelligence, planning, communication, training, staffing and equipment during the last three years,” according to a statement.
“United States Capitol Police special agents work 24/7 to investigate threats and coordinate with law enforcement agencies to prevent potential attacks against lawmakers.”
Lawmakers have been among the notable targets of a string of swatting incidents in recent months, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.) and others.