The FBI, as well as local law enforcement officials, have responded after around 70 letters containing a “suspicious white powder” were mailed mostly to Republican lawmakers in Kansas.
“[The] Kansas Highway Patrol alerted director of Legislative Administrative Services Tom Day Friday that the letters or packages of three or four other lawmakers had been submitted for further investigation. Day told legislators the letters had return addresses in Topeka and Kansas City,” the Kansas City Star reported.
The outlet noted further:
Rep. Samantha Poetter Parshall, a Paola Republican, said she was the sixth or seventh person to report receiving a letter to Day. She discovered the message while checking the mail with her 7-year-old son.
She thought the local address on her envelope meant it was safe to open.
“Once I read something about ‘Choking on your ambitions,’ I realized there was another piece of paper folded up inside of it and put it back together,” she told the outlet.
According to Poetter Parshall, the letter she received contained a white powder and resembled the one received by Rep. Paul Waggoner, a Hutchinson Republican. While she was unsure if all the messages were identical, she mentioned hearing that other Republican colleagues were also receiving similar letters.
“It’s possible there could be a Democrat who received once based on a voting record. But not knowing exactly what the details are, so far, I’ve only heard of Republicans receiving them,” she told The Star.
Rep. Tory Marie Blew, a Republican lawmaker from Great Bend, posted to Facebook Saturday morning that she, too, had received one of the letters.
“This is not okay,” she said in a post. “I don’t know all the details but as of now only Republican legislators have received this package.”
Senate President Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican, sent a letter to fellow legislators warning them to contact authorities if they receive a similar-looking letter and to be careful opening mail.
“If you have something that looks odd, please contact the KBI prior to opening OR if you find a white substance, please call the KBI prior to handling,” Masterson said.
Meanwhile, The Star said that three Democratic Party groups in the state have condemned the letters.
The Progressive Caucus, LGBTQ+ Caucus, and the Kansas Young Democrats said they “harshly condemn the recent mailings containing a suspicious white powder that were received by Republican legislators to their homes and the Attorney General’s office,” in a Friday statement, The Star noted.
“Whether the powder contains an actually threatening substance or is intended as a threat and contains a benign substance, this behavior is unacceptable and is horrific,” the statement added.
“We’re using our finest resources and it’s being squandered because someone – or a group of people – are very deliberately trying to make a point,” said State Senator Molly Baumgardner. “Kansas Legislators that are Republican are being targeted. There appears to be some message.”
Last week, as former President Donald Trump was set to be arraigned in a federal courtroom in Miami on charges of mishandling classified information, the FBI, police, and other local authorities responded to a bomb threat.
MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian said reporters were being forced away from the scene shortly before 11 a.m. on Tuesday after someone allegedly called in the threat.
Vossoughian said the courthouse was sending bomb-sniffing dogs through the building, and there was little information available about when people will be allowed back inside. Some new information has surfaced suggesting the supposed bomb threat may not have been anything at all. The “suspicious device” appears to be a television with words on it.
The Florida judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday did not allow cameras, phones, or electronic devices into the courtroom.