The decade's most triggering comedy
An FBI investigation is ongoing after several “suspicious” packages were delivered to Tennessee lawmakers in Nashville.
Offices at the capitol have been shut down as the packages, which were dropped off at the Cordell Hull State Office Building, are investigated, according to House Speaker Cameron Sexton. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security deflected all questions to the FBI, which it said was the lead on the investigation.
“I am aware of a possible issue involving the legislative offices of some members of House Republican leadership receiving in the mail a white powder substance,” Sexton said. “The sixth floor has been placed on lockdown out of an abundance of caution, and hazmat teams are on scene assessing the situation.”
A source familiar with the investigation told The Daily Wire that the letter mirrored very closely the threatening letters received by Kansas Republican lawmakers. Both were signed by “your secret despiser” and the return address was listed for a transgender activist who died several years ago.
— Kelsey Gibbs (@kelseymgibbs) June 22, 2023
“The letters contained obvious threats made by a liberal activist specifically targeting Republicans. The sixth floor of the Cordell Hull Building remains on lockdown while Homeland Security and first responders investigate. All employees and members in the building are safe,” House Republicans said.
Days ago, Republican legislators and officials in Kansas have reported receiving “cryptic” letters containing white powder since Friday, with some officials speculating they are politically motivated.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), which is working alongside the FBI on the investigation, confirmed over the weekend that roughly 100 letters have been sent. So far, it appears the letters have been sent exclusively to Republicans, and one Republican lawmaker suspects it could be connected to Republicans overriding the Democratic governor’s vetoes.
“This is not okay,” Republican State Rep. Tory Marie Blew, who received a letter, said in a Facebook post. “I don’t know all the details, but as of now only Republicans [sic] legislators have received this package.”
The number of letters being reported has steadily increased since Saturday when officials said roughly 80 letters had been reported across the state. On Sunday, that number was 90, and officials updated the number to roughly 100 as of Monday, according to the KBI. ABC News reported that the substances that have been tested so far are neither explosive nor a biohazard.
“Law enforcement is working to safely collect the letters and investigate the incidents,” the KBI said in a statement. “Currently, no injuries have been reported, but we ask everyone to remain vigilant in handling mail.”
State Rep. Stephen Owens, a Republican, believes the letters could be a response to one of the nine vetoes the legislature has overridden this year — including one that bans transgender-identifying athletes from competing on sports teams opposite their biological sex. Republicans control both the House and the Senate in the state, but Democrat Laura Kelly has been governor since 2019.