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Image: Capitol dome
The Capitol dome is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building on Dec. 20, 2020.Samuel Corum / Getty Images

On Capitol Hill, Trump critics spend heavily on personal security

When elected officials have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on personal security, it's evidence of an unhealthy body politic.


Ordinarily, when members of Congress file quarterly financial reports, political reporters take a look at the scope of their fundraising numbers. But occasionally, it's even more important to consider what those financial reports tell us about the money leaving lawmakers' coffers.

Members of Congress are spending tens of thousands of dollars on personal security for them and their families in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, according to an analysis of first-quarter Federal Election Commission reports by Punchbowl News.... Private security expenditures were especially common among anti-Trump Republicans and high-profile Democrats who earlier this year voted to impeach and convict the former president for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, signaling they fear for the safety of themselves and their families.

Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman fleshed this out a bit in a Twitter thread this morning, and the details are striking. One Republican senator spent tens of thousands of dollars with a company that sells "ballistic doors, windows, walls and panic rooms." A House Republican has hired former Secret Service agents to provide protection. Several high-profile Democrats have made similar investments in private security.

In each of these instances, the members -- from both parties and both chambers -- relied on campaign funds to cover the security expenses, which is 100% kosher and legal.

But what each of the members have in common is that they've drawn Donald Trump's ire for betraying the former president's wishes in one way or another -- which in turn appears to have led to threats necessitating expensive responses.

Axios' report on this added, lawmakers have previously spent money for additional security, but in the Trump era, security expenditures increased "dramatically."

There's no shortage of evidence that our body politic is not healthy. Elected officials finding it necessary to spend tens of thousands of dollars on personal security is further proof of the point.