WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police have hired three attorneys to help investigate threats made to lawmakers and assist in prosecuting people who threaten members of Congress, a spokesman for the agency confirmed to NBC News.

The hirings are in response to an increase in the number of threats against lawmakers over the last few years, Capitol Police said.

The New York Times first reported news of the hirings Tuesday.

Last year, Capitol Police investigated 8,008 threat assessment cases. That was up from 7,501 cases investigated in 2022 but slightly down from the 8,613 investigated in 2020.

Last year, only 27% of the threats reported to federal prosecutors were prosecuted, Capitol Police confirmed. Two of the three new prosecutors were hired last year, and the other was hired this year, they said.

The two other new prosecutors are based in San Jose, California, and Tampa, Florida. All three hires will help advise the Justice Department on prosecuting suspects for threats to lawmakers but not prosecute cases themselves, the agency confirmed.

Capitol Police have attributed rising levels of threats against members of Congress to people’s false sense of anonymity on social media. And this year, the agency expects the number of threats to continue rising, because of the coming election.

“With the political conventions, Member campaigns, and many issues being debated on Capitol Hill, this is going to be a very busy year for our special agents,” Ashan M. Benedict, the assistant chief of protective and intelligence operations, said in a statement in January when the 2023 threat assessment numbers were released.

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