House Oversight requests Secret Service briefing on threats of extremist violence in wake of Capitol riot

Feb 3, 2021
In The News

Leaders of the House Oversight and Reform Committee requested a closed-door briefing from the Secret Service on Wednesday as officials have cautioned about the threats of domestic extremist violence after the deadly raid on the U.S. Capitol. 

A bipartisan group of committee and subcommittee leaders sent a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray calling for a briefing on its “protective security mission” at the White House.

The letter was signed by the committee's chair, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.); its ranking member, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.); Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security; and the subcommittee's ranking member, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.). 

The lawmakers pointed to a rise in online discussion among “domestic violent extremists and militia organizations,” including potential plans for “attacks with significant consequences for U.S. national security.”

“We respect the highly sensitive nature of the Secret Service’s mission and specific protective operations,” the letter read. “It is imperative that the Secret Service provide Congress with a complete threat assessment and security briefing to ensure that your agency has the resources and authorities necessary to ensure the successful completion of its protective security mission.”

The representatives said they were seeking the “current threat environment and implications” relating to the security of President Biden, Vice President Harris, former presidents, former vice presidents and all of their families. 

The committee leaders also asked for information on how intelligence is communicated between federal, state and local agencies and what security personnel and resources are available.

A spokesperson for the Secret Service said in a statement that the agency works through its “appropriate channels to diligently address correspondence and requests from Congress directly.”

The breach of the Capitol last month resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer. It has sparked a variety of security concerns, prompting several congressional inquiries into law enforcement and security.