Police Investigate Suspicious Substance at Wyden’s Office

Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:09pm

The office of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., received an item that had white powder on it on Monday and, following standard procedure, contacted Capitol Police on Monday afternoon, according to a spokesman for the senator.

Capitol Police responded to the scene in Dirksen, outside Room 221 around 5 p.m. The unit included at least two officers in hazardous materials suits, who were testing the material.

D.C. Fire and EMS also responded, pulling up in an emergency vehicle outside the Dirksen 24-hour door.

Law enforcement activated an alert over the speaker system in the building, announcing that the area outside the office was being investigated for a “suspicious substance,” and asking staffers and personnel to avoid the hallway.

An officer shooed passersby out of the hallway in front of the office, directing about a dozen reporters to wait around the corner while the scene was cleared.

By 5:46 p.m., officers cleared the scene, after test results proved negative.

During the 45-minute-long emergency, Wyden told CQ Roll Call he literally just returned from Oregon, and that his staff was following standard procedures. Wyden also said he did not know the details and had not gone in his office.