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Top Democrat demands answers from US Capitol Police about protection for members of Congress


Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, is requesting additional information from US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger about the protection for congressional lawmakers following the break-in at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home, according to a new letter obtained by CNN.

In her Tuesday letter to Manger, Lofgren, a Democrat, says 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, particularly those in the presidential line of succession.”

The letter comes as lawmakers are raising additional concerns about their safety, as well as the safety of their families, after the break-in at Pelosi’s home – which the San Francisco district attorney and law enforcement officers involved in the investigation have said appears to be political in nature.

A recent court filing revealed that the man accused of violently attacking Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told authorities he was on a “suicide mission” and had plans to target other public officials.

Lofgren specifically requests information about USCP’s strategic planning for the protection of members and their families, including the department’s coordination with other law enforcement agencies like the FBI and local police departments.

Among the questions raised in the letter is whether USCP and the San Francisco Police Department accepted offers from the FBI to help with security.

“Has the USCP adopted a written strategic plan, including any short- and long-term benchmarks, goals, or objectives; any codified policy directives; and/or any standard operating procedures for officers to be detailed to proposed regional or field offices? If so, please provide these documents to the Committee. If not, why has the Department not developed such plans or policies?” she wrote.

“With regard to any codified strategic plan, policy directives, and/or any standard operating procedures for officers to be detailed to field offices, were those followed by the Department and personnel in the San Francisco field office with respect to the October 28 attack? If not, why not?”

The lack of security at Pelosi’s home has raised significant questions about the lack of security at her San Francisco home and the law enforcement response after her husband, Paul, managed to call 911.

CNN previously reported that US Capitol Police first learned of the break-in about 10 minutes after the incident when an officer noticed police lights and sirens on a live camera feed in the Capitol Police’s Washington, DC, command center, according to a source briefed on the attack.

In a statement on Wednesday, Capitol Police said in statement that the USCP Commander Center has access to cameras that are used to “actively monitor the Speaker’s San Francisco residence around the clock when she is there” but were not actively monitored at the time of the break-in because she was in Washington, DC, at the time.

“While the Speaker was with her security detail in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco cameras were not actively monitored as they are when the Speaker is at the residence. The Command Center personnel noticed the police activity on the screen and used the feeds to monitor the response and assist investigators,” the statement said.

“The Department has begun an internal security review and will be gathering input and questions from our Congressional stakeholders,” the statement added. “We have been immensely grateful for the critical support the Congress already provided to secure the U.S. Capitol Complex after January 6, 2021.”

Capitol Police said the funding was “vital for us to implement dozens of immediate improvements” and now the department will “fast-track the work we have already been doing to enhance the protection of Members outside of Washington, D.C., while also providing new protective options that will address concerns following Friday’s targeted attack.”

There may be video of the break-in that US Capitol Police and law enforcement could review as there are security cameras at the home, two law enforcement sources also told CNN.

CNN previously reported that the San Francisco Police Department had stopped regularly posting a patrol car outside Pelosi’s house last year, according to two additional sources.

Lofgren also notes that her committee was briefed by USCP and House Sergeant at Arms on December 9, 2020 – weeks before the January 6, 2021, insurrection – about “heightened threats” to members of Congress, including specifically the speaker of the House.

Those “increased threats” required “the physical placement of officers in specific locations,” Lofgren notes.

“In conjunction with that briefing, the Committee requested that the Department provide its documentation for the proposal, including a strategic plan, including any short- and long-term benchmarks, goals, or objectives; any codified policy directives; and any standard operating procedures (SOPs) for officers to be detailed to proposed regional or field offices in San Francisco, California, and Tampa, Florida,” she added.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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