“The letter was not opened, and the staffer followed the proper protocols for the situation, including alerted the authorities, who are now investigating,” Levin said in a statement. “We do not know yet if the mail presented a threat. I’m grateful for my staff’s quick response and for government personnel at all levels who are responding.”
Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., also reported receiving suspicious envelopes at district offices in their home states.
In a memo to staff Tuesday, Gainer said that in the absence of the involved screening process for mail addressed to Capitol Hill offices, senators’ state headquarters should employ a “postal sentry,” a special device, to open all mail.
Calling it “the only defense available in state offices for this type of threat,” Gainer described the postal sentry as “a lightweight desktop device that provides sufficient airflow and filtration to reduce the release of potentially harmful particles while opening mail in an office setting.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.