Suspicious Mail Update

Yesterday I reported the discovery of suspicious powder in our mail processing facility and the fact the powder was identified as ricin. While that matter continues to be investigated by law enforcement authorities, I want to remind all staff both in Washington, D.C., and in state offices to continue to be vigilant in their mail handling procedures. All mail and commercial packages processed through the Senate Mail Facility have undergone rigorous testing through mail protocols established following previous anthrax and ricin attacks at the Senate. Mail delivery in Washington, D.C., offices will continue this afternoon—this mail was processed in advance of receipt of the suspicious ricin mailing, has been successfully inspected and tested, is completely safe, and will be delivered by uniformed Senate Post Office employees. Offices should NOT accept sealed envelopes. All unopened items should go through screening. You should accept mail only from a uniformed Senate Post Office employee or a government courier bearing a bona-fide government ID. Should an individual attempt to deliver a sealed item to your Washington, D.C., office, please redirect them to the Congressional Acceptance Site located at 160 D Street, NE (across the street from United States Capitol Police headquarters), or if you have any doubts, call the police. We will process these items safely and deliver them after they have cleared testing. If a sealed envelope already has been delivered to your office and it is of unknown origin, you should contact the United States Capitol Police at 4-0911. The safety of everyone who works in or visits the Senate community remains our top priority. Due to the most recent ricin attack, mail delivery will not be available on Thursday, April 18 or Friday, April 19. This delay will allow for the resultant law enforcement investigation to continue and mail held in the facility to complete all testing protocols. I expect that our normal mail delivery will resume on Monday, April 22.


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