A capitol threat?
STATEMENT FROM U.S. SENATOR MARK DAYTON RE: TEMPORARILY CLOSING DC OFFICE OCTOBER 12, 2004
Recently, the Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, presented us with a top-secret Intelligence Report on our national security. Obviously, that document's top-secret classification prevents me from discussing its contents.
However, based upon that information, I have decided to close my office in the Russell Senate Office Building until after the upcoming election. I will move part of its operations to my office in the Fort Snelling Federal Building in Minnesota and other parts to Senate office space available off of Capitol Hill.
I do so out of extreme, but necessary, precaution to protect the lives and safety of my Senate staff and my Minnesota constituents, who might otherwise visit my office in the next few weeks. I feel compelled to do so, because I will not be here in Washington to share in what I consider to be an unacceptably greater risk to their safety.
I have made this decision after careful review of all available documents, after discussions with other Senators and other officers of the Senate, and after long and serious consideration. On three occasions, I have spoken personally with the Majority Leader and asked him to convene a meeting of all Senators to discuss this situation. I am dismayed, and perplexed, by his unwillingness to meet with us further about the information, which he initially brought to our attention. In the absence of that further discussion, I have made my own decision about my office, as is my responsibility.
None of us can predict the future. I hope and pray that the precautions I have taken will prove unnecessary. If so, I will accept the inevitable judgments made with perfect hindsight. However, the consequences of my taking this action and being wrong pale in comparison with the consequences of taking this action and being wrong. I cannot leave Washington for the relative safety of Minnesota and leave the people I employ exposed to risks of which I have been made aware.
My staff will be supervised and responsible for working full-time during this period. Any ancillary expenses will be paid out of my regular office budget, and will not result in any additional costs to taxpayers. Telephone calls to my office will be routed to my Minnesota office, and constituent services will continue uninterrupted.