Capitol Police agents responsible for vetting threats against members of Congress are inundated, leaving some investigations delayed for months and not enough time to monitor all the people determined to be potentially dangerous, according to Roll Call. An increase in the number of cases, which include threats and other concerning statements made against members, their families, and staff, coincides with several high-profile attacks near the Capitol or at offices and residences. Police ,Chief J. Thomas Manger has called for more funding for the department’s Threat Assessment Section which he described in July as stretched to capacity, and agents in that group described why more staffing is needed. “There is no possible way to keep up with the caseload,” said one agent. Agents carry an average annual caseload of nearly 500 as threats against members of Congress have increased about 300 percent over the past seven years.
An agent could be assigned five new cases in a day. Some cases typically take between three to six hours to investigate, while others can take many more. “It’s overwhelming, and the quality of the investigation can be lower,” another agent said. The annual caseload should be closer to 100 per agent to conduct a thorough and comprehensive threat investigation, said a department official in an internal 2021 report that has not been made public. Agents sort through stacks of threats and other concerning statements, including handwritten letters, emails, social media posts, and voicemails. Direct threats are investigated immediately along with the gravest and most pressing threats. Waves of other reports are examined only when agents have time to get to it. Among notable attacks on members, staff, and families of lawmakers, Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) was assaulted in the elevator of her D.C. apartment building; Paul Pelosi, husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was attacked by a man wielding a hammer who sought to kidnap the former speaker; a Sen. Rand Paul (R-KIY), staffer was stabbed in D.C.; and former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) was attacked as he campaigned for governor.