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Police Probe Threats to Rape Akin Staffers

JT For Political Reform 2012/08/26 11:40:48
Todd Akin, whose remarks on abortion and rape led fellow Republicans to
urge him to quit as the party’s Senate candidate in Missouri, reiterated
his vow to stay in the race as authorities investigate threats against
him.

Akin, a six-term congressman, said today he will continue his
campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill despite pressure to
abandon his bid from Republican leaders, including presidential nominee
Mitt Romney.


“There are some people who are having trouble understanding our
message,” Akin said during a news conference in Chesterfield, Mo. “We’re
going to be here through the November election and we’re going to be
here to win.”


Akin, 65, stirred outrage from women’s groups and lawmakers in both
parties after he said during an Aug. 19 interview that “legitimate rape”
rarely leads to pregnancy. The controversy roiled a race that may be
pivotal for control of the Senate just as Republicans prepare to hold
their nominating convention next week in Tampa, Fla. He has since
apologized, saying he “misspoke.”


Akin said today that there have been threats against him since his
remarks. “There have been threats, both on life and on rape,” the
lawmaker said, adding that House rules barred him from disclosing more.


Capitol Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are
investigating “at least one threat they deem significant,” Steve Taylor,
a member of Akin’s congressional staff in Missouri, said in a telephone
interview yesterday. Capitol Police and Lauren Ellis, Akin’s chief of
staff, also confirmed the investigation.


Taylor declined to specify the exact nature of the threat. Calls to
the congressman’s office urged the “rape of Congressman Akin’s official
staff, the congressman and members of his family, and there’s also been
some suggestions that some people die,” Taylor said.


Capitol Police are working with the FBI “on a reported threat against
Congressman Akin,” Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider said in an e-mailed
statement. “This is an active, open investigation. Of course, we don’t
discuss the security of members of Congress — this includes our security
operations and procedures.”


The FBI didn’t respond to requests for comment.


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