U.S. Capitol Police say officers are investigating a reported threat against Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri congressman who has been criticised for comments he recently made about rape.
Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider said there was "an active, open investigation'' into a reported threat against the Republican, though she declined to detail the threat because it involved security of members of Congress.
The six-term congressman, who is running for the U.S. Senate, created a firestorm when he said in a television interview Sunday that women's bodies have ways of preventing pregnancies in cases of what he called "legitimate rape.''
He has repeatedly apologised, saying he misspoke, and has refused demands by top Republicans to withdraw from the Senate race.
Several threats have been made against the congressman, his family and staff since the interview aired, Akin spokesman Steve Taylor said. Taylor said threats of rape and other violence have been aimed at Akin through phone calls, emails and tweets.
Akin is challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.