The U.S. Capitol Police announced on Wednesday they will be opening field offices in California and Florida in response to what they say are increasing threats to members of Congress since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said that she expects additional offices to be opened in the “near future.” She added that the purpose of the offices will be “to investigate threats to Members of Congress.”

The statement continued saying, “The new USCP field offices will be in the Tampa and San Francisco areas. At this time, Florida and California are where the majority of our potential threats are.” 

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Some Members Are Beefing Up Security On Their Own

According to a report from Forbes, Capitol Hill Police say that threats to members of Congress have increased 107% compared to 2020. 

While California and Florida were selected to be the sight of regional offices for their large congressional delegations, other members have become quite security conscious and have spent campaign funds on extra security measures.

Anti-Trump Republicans seem to be the most uncomfortable. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) has spent almost $70,000 so far just this year. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is on the hook for approximately $44,000 to a private security firm.

Over in the House, members have also added security. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, has spent around $50,000 on three former Secret Service agents, in addition to private security. 

Then there are those who are adding security of their own and have, ironically, called for defunding the police.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has spent tens of thousands of dollars on extra security, as has Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

And in one of the most stunning displays of hypocrisy, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) has also spent thousands on security while actively calling to defund police.  

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Is The Trump Base A Threat?

There could possibly be some other factors going into the opening of USCP regional offices.

Former President Donald Trump has been very vocal about the fact that he will be instrumental in both the 2022 midterm elections, and there is much speculation that he will run again for president in 2024. The USCP may believe that excitement at the possibilities of these things might cause problems.

An event possibly giving the USCP a case of the nerves is scheduled to take place in Tallahassee on Saturday. What is billed as the “Free Our Patriots Rally: Release the 1/6 Prisoners.”

An online flyer for the event describes the reason for the event is to “demand the release of all patriots being held as political prisoners by the corrupt federal government in relation to Jan. 6.”

The flyer continues saying that it will be held at the state capitol in Tallahassee, and is being organized by the Luis Miguel for Senate team. Miguel is a Republican who plans on challenging Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) in 2022.

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Protection At Home

In addition to the opening of regional offices, the USCP are increasing staff for its Dignitary Protection Division, and has heightened coordination with local law enforcement to protect Congressional members when they are in their home districts.

Conservative politicians are often popular targets. Over Memorial Day weekend, the home of Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) was vandalized. Obscenities and antifa symbols were spray-painted on the sidewalk and front steps of her home.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was also targeted when a suspicious package was mailed to his home containing a white powdery substance.

The package also bore a picture of a bruised and bandaged Sen. Paul with a gun to his head and the phrase, “I’ll finish what your neighbor started you motherf—–.”

Of the attacks against her, Rep. Mace said, “Conservatives are being targeted. We can’t continue down this path. It’s un-American and it’s unsafe, and we could do better.”

 

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