Senate Hearing Room Briefly Evacuated

Posted September 12, 2005 at 4:06pm

The Russell Senate Caucus Room, where Judge John Roberts sat for his first confirmation hearing today, was sealed off for about 20 minutes this afternoon as Capitol Police investigated a report of a suspicious package.

Russell 325 was locked down at about 4:05 p.m. — after the hearing — when a suspicious envelope was found in the gallery, Capitol Police spokesman Michael Lauer said. The last few spectators still in the room were immediately escorted out by police officers, and the department’s Hazardous Material Response Team quickly responded to the scene, he said.

By 4:25 p.m. the package was found to be negative and the room was reopened.