Capitol Police chief says ‘political climate’ requires more security for lawmakers after Paul Pelosi attack

Chief Thomas Manger says the attack on Paul Pelosi is ‘an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate’

Andrew Feinberg
Tuesday 01 November 2022 17:48 GMT
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The chief of the US Capitol Police says his agency requires added resources to step up protection for lawmakers after last week’s brutal attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In a statement, Capitol Police chief Thomas Manger said his department had “engaged in a review” of the attack on Paul Pelosi by a hammer-wielding assailant who had allegedly sought to kidnap and assault Ms Pelosi, the longtime leader of House Democrats who is also second in the presidential line of succession.

He called the attack “an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate” and said the department’s mission of protecting lawmakers has become “increasingly urgent” due to the “increasing number of threats against elected officials from city council members to federal judges”.

“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for Members of Congress,” said Mr Manger.

He stressed that the plan he is advocating would consist of added “redundancies” to security measures already in place for House and Senate leadership. He added that he could not disclose details of those measures because doing so would “make it easier for potential bad actors”.

The Capitol Police chief’s statement comes as Mr Pelosi’s alleged attacker, David DePape, was due to appear in a San Francisco courtroom to answer charges of attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder, and threats to a public official.

He also faces a federal indictment on charges of assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official.

According to court documents, Mr DePape told an FBI agent who interviewed him after his arrest that his intention in going to the Pelosi home was to “hold [Ms Pelosi] hostage and talk to her”.

The criminal complaint against him also noted that he had intended to break the House Speaker’s kneecaps if she had “lied” to him. He also told the FBI he targeted Ms Pelosi because he saw her as “the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party”.

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