Sen. Susan Collins, who has received death threats and had a window smashed at her home, said she 'wouldn't be surprised' if a member of Congress was murdered

sen. susan collins, who has received death threats and had a window smashed at her home, said she 'wouldn't be surprised' if a member of congress was murdered

Susan Collins Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

  • Sen. Susan Collins told The New York Times a person broke a window of her home.
  • Collins said violent threats appear to be crossing over into actual violence.
  • Capitol Police have said threats against lawmakers have risen sharply in the past five years.

Sen. Susan Collins said violent threats against members of Congress could cross over into actual physical violence.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a senator or House member were killed,” Collins, a Republican from Maine, told The New York Times. “What started with abusive phone calls is now translating into active threats of violence and real violence.”

Lawmakers of both parties have faced a surge of violent threats in recent years. Threats against members of Congress rose drastically from 2017 to 2022, according to data from the Capitol Police, who investigated nearly 10,000 threats last year alone.

In October 2018, Collins was sent a threatening letter from a woman who prosecutors said was upset the senator voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In another angry message, someone sent Collins a video of a beheading and threatened to perform specific acts of violence against her, The Times reported.

Collins told the outlet someone also smashed a storm window on a tucked away part of her house that suggested it had been “studied and chosen.”

“There’s been a sea change in that we now see this constant escalation and erosion of any boundaries of what is acceptable behavior, and it has crossed over into actual violence,” Collins said. Three people are in prison as a result of threats made against her and several others are awaiting potential action, she added.

Members of Congress including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pramila Jayapal, Ilhan Omar, Adam Kinzinger, and Fred Upton are among those who have spoken out about receiving death threats.

Though threats are common, some members of Congress have also been targeted with physical violence.

In 2011, Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot outside a supermarket while meeting with constituents. In 2017, Republican Rep. Steve Scalise was shot during a congressional baseball practice in a politically motivated attack.

Capitol Police told NYT “several dozen” arrests related to threats against lawmakers have been made in the past three years. Most threats come from people who are mentally ill and are not believed to pose a serious danger, they said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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