No powder found inside suspicious envelopes sent to Kari Lake’s Phoenix campaign office

Lake’s campaign told Arizona’s Family the staffer had waited several hours to report the incident and that she’d thrown the envelope into the trash.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:27 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2022 at 7:51 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Police confirmed on Friday afternoon no powder was found inside two additional suspicious envelopes sent to Kari Lake’s Phoenix campaign office several days ago. However, the Lake campaign said the first letter that contained “white powder” was thrown in the trash and taken by an office cleaning crew.

On Sunday, Phoenix fire responded to a report from Lake’s campaign about suspicious envelopes around 2 a.m. Crews collected the mail. That night, Lake held a news conference saying an envelope containing a suspicious white powder was found at her campaign headquarters. At the time, Lake said it was unclear what that white substance was and Phoenix police told Arizona’s Family they sent the substance to the state lab to be tested. Lake said the staffer who opened the envelope was under medical supervision.

Scott Masino, security director for the Lake campaign, says on Nov. 4, a staffer opened a letter she said had a white substance in it, but didn’t tell anyone. The staffer also found two similar looking letters but didn’t open them. The staff member reportedly told police it looked like “baking flour.” Lake’s campaign told Arizona’s Family the staffer waited several hours and did not report the incident until the next night. They also said the staffer threw the envelope into the trash. Police were called around 10:15 p.m., but by that time, the cleaning crew had already taken out the trash with the first letter. Police were only able to take and test the other two unopened letters.

In a phone conversation, Caroline Wren, a senior Lake campaign advisor, explained the mix-up. “The paper that she had thrown into the trash, the cleaners had come, you know, they usually come around 5 or something like that and had thrown out and taken and emptied out the trash,” she said. “So there were two envelopes that matched and looked very similar to the one that she had opened, that she had set aside. Those were the envelopes that they had confiscated to take for testing.”

After the incident, Lake’s opponent, Katie Hobbs, released a statement stating she was thankful Lake and her staff weren’t hurt.

Phoenix police tell Arizona’s Family those two envelopes were unopened when taken for testing. No arrests have been made and it’s still unknown who sent the mail. Again, police confirm no substances were found inside the two letters and the employee who opened it didn’t get sick or hurt. Law enforcement did not test the original letter Lake’s campaign said had white powder in it. Arizona’s Family was told it was never recovered.