Lofgren demands answers from Capitol Police on Paul Pelosi attack

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) is demanding answers from the U.S. Capitol Police following the Friday home invasion attack on Paul Pelosi, which is sparking calls for greater protection of lawmakers.

Lofgren — the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, which oversees the Capitol Police — penned a letter to the department’s chief, Thomas Manger, asking a series of questions regarding security systems in place for lawmakers, and law enforcement’s response to Friday’s attack at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) San Francisco home.

Paul Pelosi, 82, was hospitalized with a skull fracture and other serious injuries.

“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,” Lofgren wrote in the letter, which is dated on Tuesday.

One area Lofgren zeroed in on was the presidential line of succession. Pelosi is second in line to the presidency, as Speaker of the House, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chamber’s president pro tempore, is third.

Lofgren asked Manger if the Capitol Police conducted a review of the “physical security posture” for individuals in the line of succession, and pressed the chief on if the department received input from or worked with the U.S. Secret Service “regarding appropriate physical security requirements to protect these individuals.”

The Administration Committee chairwoman also asked about potentially extending protections to family members of lawmakers in the line of succession, a topic that has been salient in the days after the Paul Pelosi attack.

“Has the USCP previously put forward a plan of action or request to the [sergeant-at-arms] and/or Capitol Police Board to extend coverage to the spouses and/or other family members of the congressional leaders in the presidential line of succession? If not, why not?” Lofgren asked.

Authorities allege that David DePape, 42, broke into the Pelosis’ San Francisco home in the early hours of Oct. 28 looking for the Speaker, who was in Washington, D.C., at the time.

According to the Justice Department’s affidavit, DePape threatened to hold the Speaker hostage and break her kneecaps.

Later in the altercation, DePape allegedly struck Paul Pelosi over the head with a hammer, causing serious injuries. He was transported to a hospital, where he underwent successful surgery to treat a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. He is expected to make a full recovery, the Speaker’s office said.

DePape is facing several federal and state charges, including attempted murder and attempted kidnapping.

Capitol Police has come under scrutiny following the attack. On Wednesday, the department confirmed in a statement that cameras set up to monitor the Speaker’s San Francisco home “were not actively monitored as they are when the Speaker is at the residence.”

The Washington Post first reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that the Capitol Police cameras captured the break-in and assault, but officers only realized the activity after the fact.

On Tuesday, Manger called for “more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for Members of Congress,” citing “today’s political climate.”

In addition to queries regarding the presidential line of succession, Lofgren also asked Manger if Capitol Police has “adopted a written strategic plan” or “any standard operating procedures for officers to be detailed to proposed regional or field offices.”

She asked if those plans were followed by Capitol Police in connection to the Paul Pelosi attack.

The Capitol Police announced last year that it was opening field offices in San Francisco and Tampa.

Lofgren also pressed Manger on whether or not Capitol Police rejected an offer from the FBI to assign Capitol Police officers detailed to San Francisco and Tampa field offices as task force officers with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. She asked if the claim was accurate and if the department would “reconsider that offer.”

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