It was on Saturday that, just before the election, it was reported that Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s campaign headquarters was subjected to a “terroristic attack” involving hate mail that allegedly included a suspicious white powdery substance.
However, authorities now say that testing has revealed that there were no dangerous substances in the suspicious mail that prompted a shutdown of Lake’s headquarters for two days, the Conservative Brief reported.
No harmful substances found
According to Fox News, the Lake campaign reportedly received three suspicious pieces of mail last week, one of which was opened by a campaign worker to allegedly reveal the suspicious substance. Phoenix Police responded and took possession of the other suspicious pieces of mail for testing in a lab.
“The state lab tested the items turned over to them regarding incident #2022-1665892 and has determined there was no substance inside,” the police said Friday.
Fox News noted that, according to Lake’s campaign, a worker had opened one of the pieces of mail last Friday and discovered a white powdery substance, presumed to be baking powder, along with a hateful and derogatory letter, which the worker threw away in the trash.
The lab test, however, found no powder or other harmful substances in the other pieces of mail, though it did find a pair of letters that included “derogatory and vulgar language” against Lake.
The Head of security speaks out
The head of security for the campaign, Scott Masino, was not notified of what happened until Saturday, at which point authorities were called, at which point the other two pieces of mail were confiscated and sent to the state lab for testing, contrary to initial reports which had suggested that the FBI had sent the suspicious mail to its main lab in Quantico, Virginia, according to Fox News.
“Last week, our campaign received three letters with no return addresses,” Masino told Fox. “The first, which was opened by a campaign staffer last Friday, contained a white powdery substance along with a hateful letter. The staffer immediately threw the contents away. The staffer was unfamiliar with the protocol for security situations and did not notify senior staff until the next day, upon which I took the lead as head of security and immediately notified the Phoenix police department.”
“Phoenix PD arrived on scene. By that point, the office trash had already been emptied,” he added. “Nevertheless, given the contents of the first letter, the Phoenix PD decided to treat this case as a suspicious substance incident. Phoenix PD made the decision to bring in the bomb squad and FBI, and sent the remaining two letters to the lab to be examined. We have since learned that those two remaining letters had no substances inside as the first did.”
Campaign called incident a “terroristic attack” to intimidate Lake
The Daily Mail reported last week that the Lake campaign viewed the suspicious mail as a “terroristic attack, trying to intimidate Kari and the campaign staff” just days ahead of the important election.
The incident prompted a complete shutdown of Lake’s campaign headquarters for two days, and the worker who opened the first piece of suspicious mail was placed under medical observation, though no injuries have been reported.
It remains unknown who may have sent that mail to Lake’s campaign, nor can it be said with any certainty that the forced closure of the campaign headquarters diminished Lake’s chances of winning the election outright — the race still remains too close to call — but, obviously, shutting down a campaign headquarters just days before an election is not helpful in that regard.