Concerns about US lawmakers’ safety are growing in the wake of mounting threat perception during their travel outside the secure environment of Washington, CNN reports citing multiple sources.
The agency quoted a law official saying that intelligence sourced from social media and other information after the 6th January insurrection revealed that they faced heightened threats of violence in their home states.
Enhanced Security For US Lawmakers Following Increased Threats Of Violence
Though lawmakers across the political divide have been targeted, they have chosen not to reveal specific threats they had received in the weeks following the riots at the US Capitol and 10 Republicans voting for Trump’s impeachment for inciting the insurrection. CNN added that extra security had been provided to several members of Congress for travels to and from the nation’s capital. The report cites two sources familiar with the situation as saying that local police departments had been providing the additional layer of security, and they had also stationed officers outside the homes of lawmakers.
The Assistant Director in Charge of FBI Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, told reporters that officials of law enforcement continued to monitor threats with the tools at disposal.
CNN reported citing sources that Congressional leaders were among those who had been provided extra security, but the safety of lesser-known or newer members who may not receive the same additional protection was a special concern.
In an earlier report, CNN had pointed out that members of the Republican who voted in favor of the impeachment were threatened over their decision. Additional security had been provided to them when traveling to their home state; in view of the development, multiple sources told the agency. This included protection by local police at the airport and their residence in some cases.
Even some of Trump’s close allies in Congress were concerned over security following 6th January. Videos posted on social media show that, shortly after rebuking Trump over his role in instigating the Capitol attack, a Trump supporter at Reagan National Airport had confronted Lindsey Graham and screamed at him.
A woman called Lindsey Graham a traitor as he walked through one of the terminals at the Washington-area airport.
Meanwhile, even before Trump’s impeachment trial begins, some Senate Democrats seem to be not keen on it.
With only five Republican senators joining Democrats in a vote on Tuesday, declaring the trial constitutional, some in the majority seem to think it would be worthwhile focusing their attention elsewhere.
They say if it was not obvious before, it was now clear that the GOP would not convict Trump.
Senator Time Kaine (D-Va.) told reporters yesterday that to do a trial, knowing you would get 55 votes at the max, seemed to him to be not the right prioritization of their time. He added a fast trial remained a possibility, but his top priority was Covid relief and getting the Biden Cabinet approved.
Under Senate rules, the chamber was obligated to hold a trial given that an article of impeachment had been delivered. However, lawmakers could decide how long the trial would last or whether to hear from any witnesses. In interviews yesterday, several Democrats had pointed out that they viewed Trump’s second impeachment trial as very different from his first, as the senators themselves had witnessed the insurrection.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said it was a straightforward trial. He added he never thought it needed to be as long as the Ukraine trial and said that he hoped they could get it done a week.