Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

    Midterm election unfolds amid backdrop of assault of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband and increased threats against lawmakers

    Paul Pelosi and Nancy Pelosi attend the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner at Washington Hilton on April 28, 2018 in Washington, DC.

    The 2022 midterms are unfolding at a time of increased attention to political violence.
    On the eve of Election Day, Donald Trump called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an “animal.” 
    Trump’s comment came two weeks after Pelosi’s husband was violently assaulted inside his home.

    Two weeks after the violent assault of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Tuesday’s midterm election is playing out against the backdrop of heightened threats to lawmakers serving in Congress.

    In the five years since former President Donald Trump’s election, the number of reported threats against lawmakers increased tenfold — to more than 9,625 in 2021, according to the Capitol police. 

    That rise has mirrored a similar increase in threats to other public figures and officials, including federal judges, who faced a surge in threats during the Trump administration.

    The assault of Pelosi’s husband, Paul, early in the morning of October 28 thrust to the fore the remarkable rise in threats to lawmakers and their families in recent years. Paul Pelosi underwent surgery to repair skull fractures after the assault, in which police said a 42-year-old California man, David Wayne DePape, hit the House speaker’s husband in the head with a hammer.

    In court papers, prosecutors alleged that DePape broke into the Pelosi home in San Francisco and shouted, “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?” — a question reminiscent of what some members of a pro-Trump mob yelled during the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

    Threats against public officials have increased amid a rise in violent political speech. 

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if a senator or House member were killed,” Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, told the New York Times earlier this year.

    In an interview with Insider, former Judge John Jones attributed the rise in threats to the judiciary to a “road-rage society” in which public officials are not confining their criticism to mere points of disagreement but impugning the character of their perceived opponents. 

    “It’s completely irresponsible. It’s like public figure malpractice, because we’re dealing with a really volatile public at this point,” Jones, now the president of Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, told Insider. “I’m sickened by the fact that we can’t moderate some of this rhetoric. It’s literally become so toxic now that I think we’re going to get somebody hurt or killed by it.”

    On Monday, during a rally on the eve of Election Day, Trump called Pelosi an “animal,” shortly after attaching the same label to an MS-13 gang member convicted of murder.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


    Generated by Feedzy