Skip to content
July 18, 2019

Thompson Writes Capitol Police on Increasing Threats Against Members of Congress

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to the Capitol Police Board following up on his letter earlier this week on member security and threats against members of Congress.  In the letter, Chairman Thompson requests the police board hold an emergency meeting and act swiftly to address this heightened threat environment.

Letter text:

I am following up on my July 15th letter given President Trump’s continued attacks on four Members of Congress. Last night at a campaign rally, the President once again used inflammatory rhetoric about the four Congresswomen, spurring the crowd to chant “send her back” in reference to Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5).

In my earlier letter, I urged you, as Chairman, to convene an emergency meeting of the United States Capitol Police Board. I requested that the meeting occur within 48 hours of the letter, and that I receive a classified readout of the meeting.

Just one day after sending that letter, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified before the House Administration Committee that threats against Members of Congress are increasing.   Following that hearing, House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving stated that as Members become more prominent in the media, his office will provide enhanced support to them.  Since last night’s Trump campaign rally, the hashtag #SendHerBack is trending on Twitter with tweets referring to Rep. Omar as a terrorist sympathizer and calls for her deportation despite being a U.S. citizen.  

Earlier this week, a well-known White nationalist platform praised the President’s targeting of Rep. Omar and other Members.   The President’s attacks on Members of Congress have emboldened people to pursue acts of violence toward public officials before.  I strongly believe that the Police Board must act swiftly to address heightened threats to these and other Members of Congress. 

To that end, I reiterate my request that the Police Board hold an emergency meeting and re-examine the Board’s approach to analyzing the risk environment, thresholds for enhanced security for certain targeted Members, and information sharing about threat streams with law enforcement in such Members’ districts, and that I receive a classified readout from the meeting.  I would urge you to work with my staff to set up a time prior to July 25th for me to receive the classified briefing.

I thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent matter.

Link to Letter

#  #  #

Press Contact

Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978