Capitol Police double down on security amid new militia threat

D.C. Bureau

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — U.S. Capitol Police are increasing security around the building following threats of more violence from a militia group Thursday.

The U.S. House of Representatives has canceled its Thursday session because of the threat.

Testifying before Congress Wednesday, Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said her team and the National Guard troops that have been stationed in Washington since the Jan. 6 riot are prepared to respond.

“We have enhanced our security posture,” Pittman said. “We’ve taken immediate steps to let the National Guard as well as our workforce know what to expect tomorrow.”

She would not share specific details of intelligence from the FBI, but a Capitol Police news release said the building and specific members of Congress were targeted.

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., said the heightened security makes him feel safe.

“We have to make sure that we are invigorating the law enforcement, national and defense infrastructure,” he said.

But Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said he thinks the response is excessive.

“I don’t believe we need an 8-foot high … fence and National Guard troopers,” he said. “I would say send the Guard troops home to their families.”

Capitol Police have requested millions of dollars to make more security enhancements. Pittman said there has been a 93.5% increase in threats to members of Congress in the first two months of 2021 compared to the same period last year.

“We want to make sure that Jan. 6 never happens again,” she said.

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