Michigan Rep. Dingell's Detroit Office Ransacked, Items Belonging to Late Husband Broken

U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell reported Monday that her suburban Detroit office had been broken into and ransacked, with items that had belonged to her late husband damaged.

Local and U.S. Capitol police are investigating the break-in at the Dearborn, Michigan, office, the Associated Press reported.

The door and windows were smashed and items on the walls had been taken off and broken. Also damaged was memorabilia belonging to Dingell's late husband, Representative John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress who died in 2019 at age 92.

Dingell, a Democrat who represents Michigan's strongly Democratic 12th Congressional District, told the Detroit Free Press that she believes the break-in happened before Monday, but that the damage was not discovered until then.

Due to a recent fire in the building requiring work to be done, the office was closed. Dingell said someone stopped by the office Friday and it was not vandalized.

Dingell had been using the Dearborn office since being elected in 2014, and before that John Dingell used it when he was in office.

"Thankfully, my staff and I are safe and no one was hurt, but we must also recognize the impact attacks like this one and constant threats have had on my staff and all Congressional staff," Dingell said in a news release. "This needs to stop now."

Dingell's spokesperson, Mackenzie Smith, released a statement saying that the Dearborn office will remain closed as the investigation continues.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Debbie Dingell, U.S. Representative
A suburban Detroit office of U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell was broken into and ransacked, with memorabilia belonging to her late husband and longtime Congressman John Dingell damaged. Above, Dingell addresses the media during a visit to the Water Resource Recovery Facility on July 8, 2021, in Detroit. Carlos Osorio, File/AP Photo

"We are working with [police] to identify who is responsible and hold them accountable for their actions," Dingell said.

"The motive for today's incident is unclear, but what I can tell you is that the disrespect, violence and division need to end in this country," she added. "We need to practice civility and kindness, not divisiveness and anger."

Dingell said her office has been receiving threats for months. It comes at a time of deep polarization between Democrats and Republicans and the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. More than 675 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol, officials said.

"This vandalization really hits home," Dingell said of the damage to her office. "Regardless of if your views differ from mine or from your neighbor's, we need to learn to hear each other out and work together to solve the issues facing our nation. Violence and vandalism aren't the answer."

Debbie Dingell, Washington D.C.
U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell reported a break-in at her office in Dearborn, Michigan, on November 29, 2021, and said it was being investigated by local and U.S. Capitol police. Above, Dingell speaks during the Time to Deliver Home Care Workers rally and march on November 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for SEIU