Johnson: Intensity of threats increased since Capitol breach

January 16, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson says general threats against personal safety are part of being a politician. But, Johnson says since the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week the degree of anger and specificity of the threats have increased.

Johnson says in some cases he and his staff have turned over information to law enforcement to investigate.

The Republican congressman says the threats won’t deter him from attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week. Johnson and Sen. John Thune will attend the ceremony.

Staff for Sen. Mike Rounds say he’s unlikely to attend the event because of “logistical challenges,” which they did not explain.


Johnson tells the Argus Leader that the Capitol campus will likely be “ be one of the ”safest places on the planet” Jan. 20.

“We’re most at risk when we’re not prepared,” Johnson said. “In that way, it’s often the unexpected that catches us unaware and catches us in a vulnerable position.”

He said officials and law enforcement weren’t ready when rioters breached the Capitol Jan. 6 to stop the formal confirmation of Electoral College votes. The violence took the lives of five people.

Johnson said he was thankful for the Federal Air Marshal Service for providing security during travel and for the police department in Mitchell where he and his family reside. The local police department has gone above and beyond to keep his home and family safe, he said.