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GOP wants to pay bodyguards with donations. FEC: Not that fast

Photo illustration by The Daily Beast / GettyAttorneys for the Republican National Congress’s two fundraising committees this week expressed “serious concerns” about the federal electoral commission’s “inappropriate” response to a request that would lead officials to use campaign funds to hire bodyguards without Violation of the prohibition of personal use. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) appealed to the regulator in late January to make an urgent decision on the matter. The call cited “specific threats of physical violence against members and their families” in light of the January 6 riot events, which forced some officials to consider further steps to protect themselves. Last week, the FEC released a draft decision in response to the request that would allow public officials to rent security data with campaign money, but only in certain circumstances: when they are the target of specific threats or when the U.S. Capitol Police require the personal protection of individuals Recommended members; but not under hypothetical future scenarios. That reaction outraged Republicans who had asked permission to strengthen themselves before direct threats surfaced. In a letter to the FEC on Wednesday, the GOP groups said the FEC appears to be “bypassing” the issue: “The draft purports to acknowledge these concerns, but the proposed standards for residential staff and personal safety would prohibit it acting proactively, ”wrote the lawyers. Although the January 6 attack was primarily aimed at Democrats, Republican lawmakers have also mastered serious threats to their security in recent months, particularly those who broke with Trump in attempting to ratify the electoral college vote To block. Then-Vice President Mike Pence, who oversaw the process, was threatened with lynching on Jan. 6, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was approached by Trump supporters at an airport after refusing to contest the votes. CNN reported in January that some of the ten Republican lawmakers who voted for the indictment against the then-president had been granted personal protection after receiving death threats. Peter Meijer (R-MI). Told MSNBC after his vote to indict that he and some of his GOP colleagues might invest in body armor. “It’s sad we have to get to this point, but you know we expect someone to try to kill us,” he said. More than 30 members of the House of Representatives have petitioned the leadership allowing them to use taxpayer-funded expense reports for security measures, such as: B. hiring personal protection and buying “security items” to stay at home. The GOP’s first emergency inquiry pointed to a number of recent threats, including an Associated Press report on “plans to attack members of Congress while traveling to and from the Capitol Complex” during Trump’s second impeachment trial. It also cites the January 19 arrest of a Queens man who urged allies to “slaughter” lawmakers, mainly, but not limited to, Democrats. Trump, we want real revenge on Democrats. That said, we want you to hold a public execution of pelosi aoc schumer etc. And if you don’t, citizenship will [sic]According to an FBI affidavit, the man wrote in an online post. Another post stated more generally, “We have to return to the US Capitol when all the senators and many representatives are back, and this time we have to show up with our guns. And we have to kill these motherfuckers. “Republicans argue that if the FEC bans proactive action, the decision would de facto remove the“ most valuable ”part of its own 2017 report that legalized spending on electronic security systems for homes regardless of threats. That decision came from an attack in June when a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) opened fire on Republican officials training for a charity softball game and seriously injured Louisiana’s Steve Scalise. Officials from both parties have since made use of the option. But Republican groups are now arguing that the threat landscape has since “deteriorated significantly in almost all cases”. They cite a March 3 statement by Acting Police Chief of the Capitol, Yogananda Pittman, that “threats to members increased 93.5% in the first two months of 2021 compared to the same period last year,” and that overall threats increased more than doubled – by about 119 percent – from 2017 to 2020, with most of the suspects residing outside the Washington area. ““ However, the draft proposes a different, far more onerous standard for personal security guards than has been envisaged for residential security over the past four years. The FEC already allows candidates and elected officials to respond to certain immediate threats posed in the As part of the performance of their official duties, emerge delving into personal safety donor contributions, although the filing indicates that this is relatively rare. For example, the campaign for MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) paid $ 1,300 for protection in a town hall in July 2019, amid a spate of threats against her and minority colleagues that month. And then-candidate Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) received police protection in September after “specific threats” and tapped his campaign account for more than US $ 20,000 the week before the election, alleging that “punks” had campaign badges in his Asheville house destroyed in late 2020, the campaign for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reported the security firm Atlas Glinn, whose website features a photo of a protection team accompanying Cruz at a parade in July 2018.The Cruz campaign paid the company between October and Last December, it was $ 46,000, most of it after the elections. The window for comments on the new draft decision will close on March 18th and the FEC plans to vote on the issue on March 25th. Democrats have read more at The Daily Beast. Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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