Following the delivery of numerous “suspicious” packages to Tennessee legislators in Nashville, the FBI has launched an ongoing investigation.
According to House Speaker Cameron Sexton, offices in the capital have been closed while the parcels, which were delivered to the Cordell Hull State Office Building, are being investigated. All inquiries were directed to the FBI, which the Tennessee Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security claimed was in charge of the inquiry.
“The legislative offices of several members of the House Republican leadership may have received a white powder material in the mail,” Sexton said. “Out of a sense of prudence, the sixth floor has been put on lockdown, and hazmat crews are on the site to investigate the situation.”
According to a person with knowledge of the inquiry, the letter closely resembled the threatening letters that were received by Kansas Republican leaders. Both were inscribed with “your secret despiser” as the signer, and the return address was that of a long-deceased transgender activist.
“The letters included blatant threats from a leftist activist who was explicitly going after Republicans. The Cordell Hull Building’s sixth level is still under lockdown as Homeland Security and emergency personnel do their investigation. The building’s staff and visitors are all secure,” according to House Republicans.
Republican legislators and government representatives in Kansas claimed to have received “cryptic” letters that contained white powder, some authorities theorized that the mailings were politically motivated.
This week, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), which is assisting the FBI with the probe, acknowledged that about 100 letters had been received. One Republican member believes the letters may have something to do with Republicans overcoming the Democratic governor’s vetoes since it appears that only Republicans have received them so far.
Republican state representative Tory Marie Blew, who had received a letter, wrote on Facebook, “This isn’t okay. I’m not familiar with all the specifics, but as of right now, only Republican lawmakers have gotten this package.”
Since Saturday, when authorities estimated that about 80 letters had been discovered throughout the state, the number of individual letters being reported has progressively climbed. According to the KBI, the figure was 90 on Sunday, and as of Monday, officials have revised it to be about 100. The compounds that have been evaluated thus far are neither explosives nor biohazards, according to ABC News.
The KBI released a statement saying that “law enforcement was trying to safely collect the letters and look into the events. Although no accidents have been recorded as of yet, we urge everyone to handle mail carefully.”