Tuesday, March 21

Lawmakers on Jan. 6 committee ramp up security as threats increase

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In the past 24 hours, there has been an uptick in the number of violent threats against lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, and all lawmakers on the committee are likely to receive a security detail, according to three people involved with the investigation.

The committee on Tuesday held its fourth hearing, which focused on efforts by former president Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election and the resulting political violence and harassment experienced by many of those who resisted.

On June 21, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack outlined a scheme supported by President Trump to overturn the 2020 election. (Video: Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

Over the weekend, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) revealed a letter addressed to his wife that threatened to execute them and their 5-month-old baby. He warned that the political violence of Jan. 6, 2021 was not an aberration but a consequence of his party’s repeated lies.

“There is violence in the future, I’m going to tell you,” Kinzinger said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “And until we get a grip on telling people the truth, we can’t expect any differently.”

Committee Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has been flanked with a security detail since last year, and has been unable to hold large, publicized campaign events, in part due to security concerns, according to aides.

During Trump’s second impeachment trial, which was held shortly after the insurrection, security details were provided to all nine impeachment managers.

“For safety reasons, the USCP does not discuss potential security measures for Members,” a spokesperson for the United States Capitol Police said in a statement.

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Tuesday’s hearing featured some of the most emotional testimony so far, including appearances from mother-and-daughter election workers in Georgia, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, who described the consequences of being targeted by the former president and his allies.

“It’s turned my life upside down,” said Moss. “I don’t want anyone knowing my name. I don’t want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. … I second-guess everything I do. It’s affected my life in a major way—in every way. All because of lies, for me doing my job, the same thing I’ve been doing forever.”

The remaining hearings are likely to focus even more on the culture of political violence on the right. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) are set to co-lead a hearing that explores the path to extremism that spurred insurrectionists to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.


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