Bombs targeting Dems raise new fears

Explosive devices were sent Tuesday and Wednesday to former President Obama, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick Ron Johnson subpoenas documents from FBI director as part of Russia origins probe Juan Williams: Older voters won't forgive Trump for COVID MORE and other Democrats, as well as CNN, raising new fears about violence in a politically polarized country just two weeks from midterm elections that could change the power structure in Washington.

The suspicious packages led to the evacuation of the Time Warner building in Manhattan and a full investigation involving the Secret Service as well as federal, state and local authorities.

Packages were also addressed to former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderObamas discuss pandemic, voting, anxiety and community in new podcast Joy Reid debut delivers 2.6 million viewers for MSNBC The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Republicans rejigger summer convention plans MORE and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMaxine Waters expresses confidence Biden will pick Black woman as VP Bill from Warren, Gillibrand and Waters would make Fed fight economic racial inequalities Waters rips Trump, GOP over mail-in ballots: 'They'll lie, cheat and steal to stay in power' MORE (D-Calif.).

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A suspicious package also led to the evacuation of former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzMichelle Obama wishes Barack a happy birthday: 'My favorite guy' Florida county official apologizes for social media post invoking Hitler  The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Lauren Underwood says Americans face economic crisis if Senate fails to act on unemployment benefits extension; US surpasses 4 million cases, 1,000+ deaths for third straight day MORE’s congressional office in Florida. Her address had been listed as the return address on the package addressed to Holder.

All of the people targeted by the packages have been frequently criticized by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE, who condemned the attempted attacks as “abhorrent” during remarks from the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it,” Trump said.

Both parties have complained that the other has engaged in dangerous rhetoric that threatens to spill over into actual violence.

Republicans as part of their closing arguments for the midterms have warned voters against giving congressional majorities to a liberal “mob” that would be empowered by Democrats, pointing to the recent confirmation fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcConnell has 17-point lead over Democratic challenger McGrath: poll Davis: My recommendation for vice president on Biden ticket Kavanaugh urged Supreme Court to avoid decisions on Trump finances, abortion: report MORE as an example.

A little more than a year ago, Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseRepublicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video MORE (R-La.) was gravely wounded in a shooting at a congressional baseball practice by a man who opposed Trump and ranted about politics in social media posts.

“I have experienced first-hand the effects of political violence, and am committed to using my voice to speak out against it wherever I can,” Scalise said Wednesday.

Democrats blame Trump for lowering the level of discourse in the country. Trump has criticized Waters as having a “low IQ” and repeatedly called for Clinton to be jailed. “Lock her up” remains a popular chant at his rallies.

The first explosive device was discovered by the Secret Service on Tuesday night and had been addressed to Clinton's home in Chappaqua, N.Y. On Wednesday morning, another device sent to Obama’s home in Washington, D.C., was discovered by the Secret Service.

Later on Wednesday, CNN was forced to evacuate its New York studios after a suspected bomb along with an envelope of white powder was found in a package in the company’s mailroom. That package was addressed to former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanSenate panel scraps confirmation hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee at last minute Brennan memoir slated for October, says Trump blocked him from accessing records Graham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over MORE, a frequent critic of Trump’s.

Other suspicious packages were sent to Holder and Waters; the latter was discovered at a congressional mail-sorting location in Maryland.

A building in San Diego that houses the offices of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Democratic Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick The Hill's Campaign Report: LIVE: Trump from Gettysburg | The many unknowns of 2020 | Omar among those facing primary challenges Sens. Markey, Cruz clash over coronavirus relief: 'It's not a goddamn joke Ted' MORE (Calif.) was also evacuated after a suspicious package was reportedly identified outside.

In a statement later Wednesday, the FBI linked the packages sent to the Clintons, Obamas, CNN and Holder to one mailed to the Bedford, N.Y., home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros that was investigated and safely detonated by authorities on Monday.

The bureau said that the packages have been sent to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va., for further analysis.

Officials remain on high alert given the possibility more suspicious devices could be found.

Clinton and lawmakers from both parties called for officials to dial back their rhetoric in response to the attempted attacks.

“We’ve got to tone down the rhetoric. Both sides,” Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.), who recently revealed that his family had received death threats “from the right,” said. “We’ve got to see people as opponents, not enemies.”

“Don’t encourage violence, don’t encourage hatred, don’t encourage attacks on media,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “Unfortunately, this atmosphere of hatred is contributing to the choices people are making to turn to violence.”

Trump said Wednesday that the United States must “unify” in condemnation of the threats.

“In these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one strong unmistakable message that acts and threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said. “This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans.”

Officials in New York said Wednesday they would continue to investigate the unidentified white powder contained in the envelope sent to CNN.

While details surrounding the attempted attacks remain scarce, de Blasio said Wednesday he believes they are part of a terrorist plot.

“What we saw here today was an effort to terrorize. This clearly is an act of terror, attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence,” de Blasio said. “The people of New York City will not be intimidated.”

Federal officials are expected to provide updates on their findings, but its unclear when further details about the devices or any suspects in the cases will be revealed. 

This story was updated at 5:03 p.m.