A Secret Service employee who monitors mail sent to Hillary Clinton’s office discovered an explosive late Tuesday in Westchester, a day after a similar device was found in billionaire philanthropist and fellow county resident George Soros’s Katonah mailbox.
A comparable contraption was also sent to former Democratic President Barack Obama’s office and was discovered by Secret Service personnel in Washington, D.C. early on Wednesday morning.
“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the Secret Service said in a statement.
The device sent to Hillary Clinton was addressed to her in Westchester County. Bill and Hillary Clinton purchased a home in Chappaqua in 1999 as Bill Clinton was completing his presidency and Hillary Clinton prepared to run for a U.S. Senate seat in New York.
CNN’s Manhattan offices were also evacuated Wednesday morning and the bomb squad summoned when an explosive device reached its offices. That device was addressed to Obama’s C.I.A director, John Brennan, a tough critic of President Donald Trump. Former Attorney General Eric Holder, another Obama official and Trump critic, was also sent a device but it was delivered to the office of Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a former Democratic Party chairwoman who was listed as the return address for all the devices. Yet another suspicious package was addressed to Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters and intercepted at a congressional mail facility. On Thursday more news broke: two suspicious packages addressed to former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and another sent to actor Robert De Niro, a well known liberal, were intercepted, and investigators said they were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to the others. None of the devices harmed anyone.
Soros — like Clinton, Obama and CNN — is a favorite target of right-wing groups, and he is also the subject of virulent anti-Semitism. He’s also a major donor to Democratic Party candidates and progressive causes.
The device found in Soros’s mailbox was detonated by bomb squad technicians.
Federal authorities are investigating whether all the cases are linked.
New Castle Supervisor Rob Greenstein reflected on the scare to his town’s two most prominent residents.
“Hillary and Bill Clinton have sacrificed much to serve our country,” Greenstein said. “They are our friends and our neighbors. We stand beside them in the face of angry rhetoric; we support them, as we do all in our community, when they are the subject of attempted violence.”
Westchester Executive George Latimer, for his part, said the county is increasing its oversight of the mail-screening and mail-handling process at the County Office Building in White Plains and other county facilities. He also mentioned how the county is activating the county’s multi-agency coordinating system, which serves as a clearinghouse of relevant information on incidents to be shared with municipal police departments throughout Westchester.
Acknowledging the subtext of the scares, Latimer, a Democrat, also noted the politics.
“This is a highly charged political season,” Latimer stated in a press release. “It is ok to disagree, but we must never turn to violence or threats of violence to settle those differences. While we might not share the same political beliefs with our neighbors – we must remember that we are neighbors first and foremost.”
County officials also warned residents to be on heightened alert.
“If you see something, say something,” said Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr.