tv Justice Department Briefing on Arrest of Mail Bombs Suspect CSPAN October 26, 2018 6:37pm-7:01pm EDT
are bus visits have helped us foster a stronger relationship with local media and government. us to solidify our position as a community partner and advocate for education and technology. the c-span bus has hosted nearly 8000 events over the course of 25 years. we welcomed over 1.5 million visitors. today our mission continues with a new high-tech bus, providing a hands-on, interactive experience. watch for us in your community. >> jeff sessions and christo pher wray announced an arrest in the investigation of several packages containing bombs that
were sent to former presidents, politicians and others. this press conference ran about 20 minutes. mr. sessions: thank you all for being here. over this past week over a dozen suspicious packages have been sent through the united states postal service to a media outlet, a hollywood actor, and at least seven high-ranking former and current political leaders in the democratic party. this is utterly unacceptable. political violence or the threat of violence is antithetical to our system of government.
it is a threat to that respect for law and process that allows our people to accept legislation, elect court -- elections, court rulings, with which they do not agree. this is the central feature of our system of government. you advocate for your beliefs. we peacefully and lawfully comply with the results. this investigative team has made this matter a top priority. focused their great towns and expertise on neutralizing this threat. expertise ond neutralizing this threat. they have moved swiftly and professionally, using extraordinary technical expertise to apprehend the one alleged responsible. this is a demonstration of the skill, capability, and determination of the american law enforcement, the best in the world. i am pleased to participate in this announcement, that a
suspect is in the custody of the fbi. i want to remind everyone that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. he is being charged today with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and certain other persons, threatening interstate communications, and assaulting current and former federal officers. charges, the defendant faces up to 58 years in prison. these charges may change or expand as the investigation proceeds. this is a law and order administration. we will not tolerate such lawlessness, especially not political violence. i want to thank the fbi director and his team, all of our law enforcement officers here.
atf, secret service, postal olice, the, capitol p new york city police department, and the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york and the u.s. attorney for the southern district of alabama. officers from across this country responded immediately to the cause and contributed to this effort. we are proud of each one of them. i want to reiterate the defendant in this case is innocent until proven guilty. let this be a lesson to anyone. regardless of their political beliefs, we will bring the full force of law against anyone who attempts to use threats, intimidation, and outright violence. we will find you and will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.
director wray, who has done an incredible job leading this effort, will give us details of today's arrest. dir. wray: as the attorney general has confirmed, we have oc inted cesar say connection with this investigation. our investigation is still ongoing. i may not be able to answer questions about his background or his motive. what i can say is this is a nationwide investigation of enormous scope. our investigation ranged from new york to delaware, to maryland, to the district of columbia, florida and california. the fbi responded with every resource we've got. including our joint terrorism task forces, our
counterterrorism division, and world-renowned experts in our fbi lab. i can't underscore this enough, we did not act alone. as you can see from agencies and departments represented here today, a threat of this scope and this magnitude requires all of us working shoulder to shoulder. today is a testament to the strength of our partnerships, we -- what we can do when we work together. i want to acknowledge the many partners who help in recovering and transporting the ieds to our lab in quantico. this is dangerous and highly skilled, specialized work, that requires great care. we are grateful to all of those who have helped us in that effort in getting those devices to our laboratory. we can confirm 13 i.e.d.'s were
sent to individuals across the country. each device consisted of six inches of pvc pipe, a small clock, a battery, some wiring, and what is known as energetic material, which is potential explosive material that give off -- gives off heat and energy through a reaction to heat, shock, or friction. these are not hoax devices. amazingo focus on our folks at the fbi lab. they uncovered a latent fingerprint from one of the envelopes containing an ied that had been sent to congresswoman maxine waters. we have confirmed this fingerprint is that of cesar sayoc. there is also a possible dna
connection between samples collected from pieces of two different i.e.d.'s mailed in separate envelopes, and previously collected in connection with an earlier arrest. this is phenomenal work with the greatest pressure under an incredibly tight timeframe. we see unbelievable work like this in television and in hollywood, but do see it in reality is something to behold. proud of the team at the lab for their work in keeping people safe and hoping -- helping to find the individual responsible. we also turned to our partners in the florida department of law enforcement for confirmation of this dna connection. we want to thank them for their quick work. i also want to thank the men and women of the fbi's counterterrorism division, who remain on high alert to try to
keep the american people safe from harm. and to move quickly and efficiently into action every time. today's arrest doesn't mean we are all out of the woods. there may be other packages in transit now. and others on the way. we need the help of everyone out there, every citizen, everyone in law enforcement to help with this investigation. if you've got any information, please call us on our tip line or our email line. no piece of information is too small. every tip can be the one that leads to something important. if you see something suspicious, please call your local authorities. we need all hands on deck.
we need to stay vigilant. i want to thank our partners, too many to name from across the country because we cannot do this work alone. everyone up here understands that and we take that to heart -- every single day as we do the hard work of protecting 325 million americans. i will turn the podium over to commissioner o'neill. he is from the nypd. neill: thanks,' good afternoon everyone. all the people in new york city, i want to commend and think our local state and law enforcement officers in this effort, including the attorney general's office and the u.s. attorney's office. nypd detectives along with fbi agents, new york state police and many others, they are one team on our joint terrorism task force.
it was the first of its kind in the nation. it's been in business since 1980. there are 300 investigators from 56 agencies. 113 of them are new york city cops. comes to terrorism in new york city, nypd doesn't do anything without the fbi. the fbi doesn't do anything without the nypd. that is a partnership that was forged in fire. in my 36 years of policing, our relationship has never been stronger. this case told that story again. new york city cops worked side-by-side with agents. they brought justice as they always do. the experience of our agencies coupled with expertise, the members of the bomb squad, our highly trained emergency service unit, counterterrorism the -- counterterrorism bureau, patrol cops were the first to to cnn, as all helped
lead to today's arrest. i couldn't be more proud of the work of each of them in this case. we said from the outset that we would identify and arrest the people responsible. we have the ability to investigate in a precise manner. people across the nation are safe. but people still need to take caution. if you see something out there, call 911. members ofhank the the public who contacted authorities for information during this investigation. people step up every single time. through things like this before, and much worse. media foralso to the broadcasting photos the nypd released.
>> good afternoon. five days ago, law enforcement recovered the first device from a residence of george soros. over the last five days as more packages were found and delivered to former presidents, federal officials, and public figures from our law enforcement community, federal, state, and local, has worked day and night together with prosecutors to identify a perpetrator, that has now happened. today my office has filed a complaint against cesar sayoc, charging him with multiple federal crimes. he is charged in five counts that include illegally mailing and interstate transportation of explosives and threatening a
former president of the united states. the defendant mailed distractive devices to citizens of this country, including those who have held the highest public office -- president barack obama former secretary of state, hillary clinton, former vice president joe biden, former attorney general eric holder, maxine waters, cory booker, john brennan, and former director of national intelligence james clapper. the defendant's conduct as charged is cowardly and totally reprehensible, totally anathema to our democracy, and now the defendant faces a potential total of 58 years in prison. this is an ongoing and active investigation. we will not rest until these crimes are fully investigated and the defendant or defendants are brought to justice. i want to thank our partners, the joint terrorism task force,
the fbi, nypd, u.s. was on inspection service, new york state police, atf, hard-working career prosecutors and investigators and the terrorism of the southern district of new york, and i would like to thank the cooperation we received from the southern district of florida. thank you. >> good afternoon. i am the deputy chief of the united states postal inspection service. like me and my college, i went like to thank all of our federal partners who participated in this investigation, fbi, atf, secret service, new york police department, and the agencies that provide viable assistance. this is the way law enforcement is supposed to work. it was a collaborative effort that was coordinated. i would like to recognize the
postal employees who we think of as eyes and ears. we appreciate the diligence and awareness. it was a postal employee this morning that alerted us one of these parcels. we in the service have a great deal of expertise in responding and investigating suspicious mail. inspectors are trained to respond and investigate dangerous mail. these investigators are highly proficient. in this case none of the devices detonated and there was no injuries. postal inspectors will remain diligent and monitor facilities to determine whether there are additional mailings that have not been discovered. we will work with law enforcement partners to enjoy the safety of the mail, our postal employees, customers, and the american public.
>> good afternoon. secret service director. just as the other speakers have emphasized, i want to comment on the importance of cooperation. we were in the forefront of this, receiving early packages on tuesday and wednesday, and fully engaged the joint terrorism task force and other partners. i want to acknowledge the great work done by the fbi, atf, postal inspectors, the new york and capitol police, and the different states involved, also the district of columbia. i want to emphasize how seriously the service takes these threats, how important it is to provide protection to our protectees, including current and former presidents, and those who investigate not only
cybercrime, but provide protection to our protectees. i would also remark that since tuesday along with director wray, this has been our number one focus of the agency, to find the perpetrator and to bring them to justice. thank you. >> and now a few questions. >> can you tell us along the lines of how fast this move. when did you isolate the fingerprint? >> each of the devices was being brought to what called total containment vehicles to our lab, and they were coming -- and we received some of them. the first two were the devices that were sent to former president obama and the d.c. package that was sent to congresswoman waters. the announcement began on that yesterday. we started receiving information over the course of the last 24, 36 hours.
>> a question for director wray and attorney general sessions. can you describe your reaction when you got word that there was a latent fingerprint that might be traced to a suspect, and can you give us a sense of why the devices may not have exploded. >> the second part of the question? on the first part, my reaction that we had a possible match validated my faith in law enforcement, in particular the fbi lab. there is a reason why they are known as one of the best in the world and the folks there are extraordinary. once i knew they had a print, i was pretty confident we would be able to find the right person. as far as the devices themselves, it is important to say, as in the complaint, that even if the devices -- and we're still trying to determine whether or not they were functional, as they say, so we are doing all kinds of an
analysis to make a determination -- they did contain energetic material which, if subjected to the right combination of heat or shock or friction, could be dangerous to the public, and the public should treat any device like that as important. >> attorney general sessions, could you tell us plainly why was he targeting democrats? attorney general sessions: i do not know. other than what you might normally expect. he appears to be a partisan, but that would be determined by the facts as the case goes forward, and i am not able to comment on it. >> is he cooperating? director wray: we're not going to be commenting on where the investigation stance at this time. >> what role do you think the rhetoric in the political arena played in this?
has that given you more work? director wray: we're focused not on the talk, on the work. it is something that should make every american crowd and grateful and it is too early to be discussing the motivation. are you worried that the rhetoric might motivate someone predisposed to acts of violence? director wray: we are concerned about people committing acts of violence under any motivation. >> director, do you believe he is the only one involved in this campaign, and you continue to make reference to other devices that might be out there. do you have any sense of how many that are still in the stream? director wray: as i said, and the attorney general said, this is very much an active and ongoing investigation. we believe we have caught the right guy. but we also know that this is an ongoing investigation and there is a lot of work still to be done, which means there is still
plenty of unanswered questions. >> last question. >> when did you first brief president trump on having a suspect, and what was his reaction? director wray: i'm not going to get into the discussion. i received a nice congratulatory phone call before heading over here & his remarks he made up of white house. i think he, like every american should be proud of the , unbelievable work that was done not just by the fbi, but by all of our law enforcement partners across multiple states. i think commissioner o'neill said it well. the partnerships that exist in the law-enforcement profession right now in this country are extraordinary, better than they've ever been. and exactly what the doctor has ordered. >> thank you so much.
moderator: our campaign 2018 coverage continues for a debate the between sherrod brown and congressman jim renacci. moderator: good evening to you. thank you for joining us tonight. we are in the beautiful auditorium on the campus of miami university in oxford. wlwt and miami are bringing you the third and final debate between incumbent