US Attorney: FBI agents search lawmakers’ offices and homes

U.S. Attorney’s Office of Middle Tennessee on Friday says FBI agents have been searching the homes and offices of state lawmakers

Via AP news wire
Friday 08 January 2021 17:49
State Lawmakers FBI Search
State Lawmakers FBI Search

U.S. Attorney’s Office of Middle Tennessee on Friday said FBI agents have been searching the homes and offices of state lawmakers

The searches included the homes of former GOP House Speaker Glen Casada and state Rep. Robin Smith, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman David Boling confirmed.

Boling declined to provide any further information regarding the nature of the searches and how many lawmakers were involved.

A spokesman for the FBI referred all questions to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee told reporters Friday that he had spoken to current House Speaker Cameron Sexton about the searches, describing them as “FBI raids.”

“It’s certainly very concerning. I know very little about that. There’s been no FBI outreach to us,” Lee said. “But I have confidence that Speaker Sexton is on top of the situation and we’ll learn more as this unfolds.”

Sexton said in a statement that he was in “full cooperation” with law enforcement authorities.

“Since becoming speaker, I have been contacted by federal authorities regarding an ongoing investigation related to the former speaker’s office," Sexton said. “On the advice of both Ethics and Legal Counsel, I am placing everyone that was subject to the execution of today’s search warrants on administrative leave until further notice.”

Sexton's office did not immediately respond to follow up questions regarding who would be placed on administrative leave.

Casada resigned from the top leadership post in 2019 after revelations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages about women with his former chief of staff years ago.

Other controversies included an aide’s cocaine use at a legislative office years ago and allegations of doctoring emails to frame a young black activist - which Casada and the aide both denied.

There were also claims of vote-buying attempts on a key education voucher bill arose, which he has firmly denied.

Casada did not immediately respond to text messages seeking comment. Smith did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

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