The offices of several members of Congress received suspicious packages Wednesday amid a spate of bomb scares targeting high-profile Democrats.
Democratic representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Florida office was evacuated after a suspicious package addressed to former attorney general Eric Holder was intercepted there. The San Diego office of Democratic Senator Kamala Harris’ was briefly evacuated Wednesday morning after a suspicious package was delivered to the building, which also contains the offices of the San Diego Union-Tribune. That package turned out to contain just a shoe, a couple of children’s books, a football, an empty bag of chips, and a hat. Another package addressed to Representative Maxine Waters was flagged at a congressional mail-screening facility in Capitol Heights, Maryland. The Capitol Hill Police bomb squad investigated that package.
The wave of suspicious packages came just hours after the Secret Service apprehended potential explosive devices addressed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama, and two days after an explosive device was found in the mailbox of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros. Neither Clinton nor Soros were home at the time, and none of the packages injured anyone. Police detonated the device sent to Soros as a precaution and notified the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
CNN’s New York office was also evacuated Wednesday and a bomb squad was sent to investigate after the news network received a suspicious package addressed to former CIA director John Brennan.
This is the suspicious package received this morning at the Time Warner Center, which houses the CNN New York bureau.
— CNN (@CNN) October 24, 2018
“There was some powder found within the package that was sent, and that powder now needs to be examined to determine what it is. As a result, it will take some time until we know more about the safety of the building,” said CNN president Jeff Zucker.
Police said the package appeared to contain a live, functional explosive device.
President Trump addressed the bomb scares at the White House, calling such threats of violence “despicable acts.”
“In these times we have to unify,” he said. “We have to come together and send one very clear, strong unmistakeable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”
The president said he had just come from a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Secret Service.
“As we speak, the packages are being inspected by top explosive experts and a major federal investigation is now underway,” he said.