MIAMI (AP) — Investigators and bomb squads were called to a post office in Atlanta on Monday about a suspicious package sent to CNN, the FBI said Monday, just hours before a court hearing for a Florida man accused of sending packages containing explosive material to prominent Democrats.
The FBI said via its Twitter account that the recovered package was “similar in appearance to others” and confirms the announcement earlier in the day by CNN President Jeff Zucker, who said a suspicious parcel being sent to the network had been intercepted at an Atlanta post office.
Zucker says all mail to CNN has been screened offsite since last week, when a series of package bombs began appearing around the country. One of those bombs was mailed to CNN offices in New York. The latest suspicious package comes just hours before a federal court hearing was to begin in Miami for 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, whom authorities accuse of sending explosive material to Democrats and other prominent critics of President Donald Trump.
Sayoc is accused of sending bubble-wrapped manila envelopes to Democrats such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. The packages were intercepted from Delaware to California. At least some listed a return address of U.S. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
She represents the Florida district where the former male stripper, pizza driver and strip club DJ lived in an older van covered with bumper stickers praising Trump, disparaging Democrats and CNN and showing rifle crosshairs over liberals like Clinton and filmmaker Michael Moore.
CNN said the “package looks similar in appearance to the wave of pipe bombs that were mailed last week to prominent Democrats around the country, including two that were addressed to CNN’s New York bureau.” Authorities did not immediately say who might be responsible for sending the most recent package to CNN, but law enforcement officials have said they believe the packages were staggered and more could be discovered.
Sayoc was arrested Friday outside a South Florida auto parts store after investigators said they identified him through fingerprint and DNA evidence. He is being prosecuted in New York, so his Florida hearing will likely be brief and process-oriented. The main issue will be whether he waives extradition to New York and whether he seeks release on bail.
Authorities say Sayoc faces more than 50 years in prison if convicted on all charges. None of the bombs exploded and no one was injured.