Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, and other GOP lawmakers who criticized Trump or voted to impeach him have spent tens of thousands of dollars on private security
Lawmakers who criticized Trump or voted to impeach him spent thousands to improve personal security after the Capitol attack.
Republicans including Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney beefed up their security, per Punchbowl News.
Federal regulators in March issued more guidance on how candidates can spend money on security.
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Prominent lawmakers spent tens of thousands of dollars on private security guards and other protection following the Capitol riots, a Punchbowl News analysis of campaign finance records shows.
These members of Congress include many Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the January 6 insurrection.
Members of Congress are permitted to spend campaign funds on personal security protection. And 100 days after the insurrection, lawmakers have faced increased death threats and potential dangers to their safety, creating an urgent need for more security.
Read more: No goon squads, FEC says. Regulators rule that members of Congress may only spend campaign cash on 'bona fide, legitimate' private security.
Sen. Mitt Romney, a longtime Trump critic and the sole Senate Republican to vote to convict Trump in both of his Senate impeachment trials, spent over $46,000 on security protection at home in Utah, per Punchbowl.
Another Republican who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, spent nearly $70,000 to fortify his home, the most of any lawmaker in Punchbowl's analysis. Toomey is retiring and not running for reelection in 2022.
And Rep. Liz Cheney, the third highest-ranking House Republican who has become a target of a Trump-backed effort to oust her from office after she spoke out against the former president, spent over $50,000 on private security provided by former Secret Service agents.
Two other House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, Rep. John Katko of New York and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, spent nearly $20,000 and $1,5000, respectively, on bolstered home security.
Prominent Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also spent $45,000 from her sizeable campaign war chest on private security, according to Punchbowl.
And Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, one of the impeachment managers who prosecuted the case against Trump, put $44,000 towards services from a Virginia-based security firm.
The spike in members racing to invest in personal security combined with the rise of far-right, paramilitary militia groups raised concerns that lax regulations could lead to members of Congress surrounding themselves with untrained security personnel and even members of extremist groups, Insider's Tina Sfondeles reported in March.
In a late March ruling following Insider's reporting, the Federal Election Commission determined 5-1 that federal candidates can only spend campaign funds on "bona fide, legitimate, professional personal security personnel."
Read the original article on Business Insider