California Democrat Zoe Lofgren is pressing the federal government for information. Paul Pelosi’s home invasion on Friday has prompted calls for increased security for lawmakers, and the Capitol Police have responded.
Capitol Police are under the jurisdiction of the House Administration Committee, and its chairwoman, Zoe Lofgren, wrote to its chief, Thomas Manger, with a list of questions following the attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) home on Friday. A skull fracture and other injuries landed 82-year-old Paul Pelosi in the hospital.
Lofgren Asks Capitol Police About Pelosi Attack!
Lofgren said in a letter dated Tuesday that the incident and related circumstances, including the manner in which the Speaker and her family were targeted, raise significant questions about security protections for Members of Congress.
Lofgren focused particularly on the succession to the presidency. As Speaker of the House, Pelosi is second in line to the presidency, followed by Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy of Vermont’s Democratic Party.
Lofgren pressed Manger on whether or not the Capitol Police received input from or collaborated with the United States Secret Service when conducting a review of the “physical security posture” for individuals in the line of succession. Protective Services “about the physical security measures that should be taken to safeguard these people.”
The topic of extending protections to family members of lawmakers in the line of succession has been prominent in the days following the attack on Paul Pelosi, and the chairwoman of the Administration Committee has inquired about this possibility.
“Has the USCP previously proposed an action plan or requested coverage for spouses and/or other family members of congressional leaders in the presidential line of succession to the [sergeant-at-arms] and/or Capitol Police Board? Otherwise, why not? What do you mean? ” Lofgren probed.
David DePape, 42, is accused by police of breaking into the San Francisco home of Speaker Pelosi and his wife in the early hours of October 28. Pelosi was in Washington, D.C. at the time.
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The affidavit filed by the Department of Justice claims that DePape made threats to kidnap the Speaker and break her kneecaps.
Later in the fight, DePape is said to have used a hammer to severely injure Paul Pelosi in the head. After being taken by ambulance to the hospital, he had successful surgery to repair a fractured skull and severe wounds to his right arm and hands. The Speaker’s office has reported that he is doing well and will recover completely.
DePape has been hit with multiple charges at the federal and state levels, including attempted murder and kidnapping. As a result of the assault, the Capitol Police have been under close examination. Cameras installed at the Speaker’s San Francisco home “were not actively monitored as they are when the Speaker is at the residence,” the department said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The Capitol Police cameras reportedly caught the break-in and assault, but officers didn’t realize the activity until after the fact, as reported by the Washington Post on Tuesday (citing unnamed sources). Tuesday, Manger cited “today’s political climate” in his plea for “more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for Members of Congress.”
Lofgren asked Manger whether Capitol Police has “adopted a written strategic plan” or “any standard operating procedures for officers to be detailed to proposed regional or field offices,” among other things unrelated to the presidential line of succession.
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She wanted to know if the Capitol Police had followed those procedures after the attack on Paul Pelosi
Last year, it was revealed that field offices of the Capitol Police would soon be established in both San Francisco and Tampa.
In addition, Lofgren questioned Manger on whether or not the Capitol Police had turned down an offer from the FBI to send officers to the San Francisco and Tampa field offices to serve as task force officers with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. She wanted to know if the claim was true and if the agency would “reconsider that offer.”
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