Democrats Facing Tough 2020 Races Receive Suspicious Packages After Impeachment Vote

November 1, 2019 Updated: November 1, 2019

House Democrats who are in danger of losing their seats in the 2020 election received packages from a Republican group after the impeachment vote that they reported to police as suspicious.

Reps. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), and Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) were among the Democrats in swing districts receiving the boxes from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

The cardboard boxes were labeled as being from “The NRCC” and said “Get Packing!”

At least several congressional staffers reported the packages to the police, fearing what was inside.

The NRCC said in a statement responding to a report about the situation: “We know Democrats love investigations but why are they looking a gift horse in the mouth? These boxes will be useful next November!”

A number of the representatives who received the packages criticized the group.

“I cannot figure out why anyone would think it’s funny to leave suspicious packages for Members of Congress. Thank you to the Capitol Police for keeping us safe, and sorry your time was wasted on such an irresponsible and reckless stunt,” Wexton wrote in a statement.

“I’d like to thank the Capitol Police for their professionalism in responding to the suspicious package left at our office today,” Spanberger added. “The @nrcc pulled a ridiculous stunt, leaving suspicious packages across Capitol Hill and diverting and wasting law enforcement resources.”

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), who was heavily criticized after the NRCC shared pictures showing her wearing a Batwoman costume to Capitol Hill on the day of the impeachment vote, said that the NRCC “really had a day today—wasting time trolling me for being a mom on Halloween and even worse—wasting time of our Capitol police by sending suspicious-looking packages.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it would use the boxes for Thanksgiving.

“If and when Capitol Police releases the NRCC staff, please ask them to bring those boxes over to our building,” the committee said in a statement. “We’d be happy to use those boxes so that our staff can run a Thanksgiving food drive and turn your hilarious prank into a force for good.”

Spanberger represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District after beating incumbent Dave Brat the 2018 election by fewer than 7,000 votes. The district had long been held by Republicans and voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

Wexton represents Virginia’s 10th Congressional District after beating incumbent Barbara Comstock, a Republican, by about 15,500 votes in 2018. That district went for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

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