According to new figures released Tuesday, the United States Capitol Police investigated 7,501 threats against members of Congress last year.
Last year’s numbers were the lowest in at least five years, but they remained “historically high,” nearly double the 3,939 cases investigated in 2017. Threat cases increased to 9,625 in 2021, when the Jan. 6 riot occurred.
“The threats against Members of Congress remain excessive,” said US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger in a statement. “This has necessitated an expansion of not only our investigative capabilities, but also our protection responsibilities.”
The totals include investigations into “concerning statements and direct threats,” and police said the number of threats against Democrats and Republicans was comparable, noting that every member of Congress had been targeted.
In October, an intruder broke into the San Francisco home of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and assaulted her husband with a hammer. According to police, the assailant later stated that he was looking for Pelosi, who was in Washington, D.C. at the time.
A Michigan man was arrested and charged with threatening to kill Rep. John Garamendi, another California Democrat, and FBI Director Christopher Wray weeks after the attack.
Recently, a Washington man was charged with seven counts of making interstate threats after allegedly leaving over 400 voicemails for members of Congress over the course of two years.
Political violence threats have also spread to the state and local levels. Solomon Pena, a failed Republican state House candidate in New Mexico, was arrested Monday in connection with four shootings at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators.