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Gingrich To Retain Security Detail

January 21, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Threats against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have led authorities to keep a security detail assigned to him even though he has left public office.

Such security teams usually are reserved for former holders of higher government offices _ such as president _ and this is the first time one has been assigned to a former speaker.

Gingrich’s team will remain in place until authorities decide it’s no longer needed, U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Dan Nichols said in a written statement.

Security officers have been assigned to Gingrich since 1995, when he was elected speaker shortly after the GOP’s 1994 takeover of Congress, because of threats against his safety, Nichols said.

``Mr. Gingrich has been the subject of various threats during his tenure as speaker,″ Nichols said. ``The level and frequency of threats compelled the U.S. Capitol Police to exercise its authority to take reasonable and prudent measures to protect the speaker.″

The expense of the detail will be paid for with money traditionally set aside for former speakers to maintain an office and staff. Gingrich has declined to use that money to pay for his current office, said Gingrich spokesman Mark Shields said.

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