Capitol Police investigates ‘threatening statements’ against Harry Reid


Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The U.S. Capitol Police is investigating "threatening statements" made in recent days against Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a USCP spokeswoman, said her agency "is currently looking into threatening statements made toward Senator Reid, as part of an ongoing investigation." She declined to share specific information "related to our security posture," or the number of Capitol Police officers assigned to Reid's security detail.

Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson declined to comment on the threats.

Politico first reported Monday that federal law enforcement officials are investigating threats made against Reid in response to his recent comments against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who has sparred in recent weeks with officials from the Bureau of Land Management and then was denounced last week after making racist statements about African-Americans.

Reid had already described Bundy and his supporters as "nothing more than domestic terrorists" and last week condemned Bundy as a "hateful racist" for his comments to reporters.

The Capitol Police regularly investigates threats made against lawmakers. In recent years, for example, the agency has looked into threats against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.)

As Senate leader, Reid is guarded around-the-clock by Capitol Police officers, who dress similarly to the U.S. Secret Service agents who protect President Obama and Vice President Biden. Wherever Reid goes, whether in Washington or back home in Nevada, he is tailed by agents and transported in government-owned vehicles.

Reid was briefly hospitalized in October 2012 when his motorcade was involved in a multi-car crash outside Las Vegas. Reid suffered from rib and hip contusions, while some aides and members of his security detail also experienced minor injuries.

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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