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Powder, Threat Sent to Manhattan DA    03/25 09:40


   NEW YORK (AP) -- A powdery substance was found Friday with a threatening 
letter in a mailroom at the offices of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, 
the latest security scare as the prosecutor weighs a potential historic 
indictment of former President Donald Trump, authorities said.

   New York City police and environmental protection officials isolated and 
removed the suspicious letter, and testing "determined there was no dangerous 
substance," Bragg spokesperson Danielle Filson said. The substance was sent to 
a city lab for further examination, police said.

   "Alvin, I am going to kill you," the letter said, according to a person 
familiar with the matter. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about 
an ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity.

   The discovery, in the same building where a grand jury is expected to resume 
work Monday, came amid increasingly hostile rhetoric from Trump, a Republican 
who is holding the first rally of his 2024 presidential campaign Saturday in 
Waco, Texas.

   Hours earlier, Trump posted on his Truth Social platform that any criminal 
charge against him could lead to "potential death & destruction."

   Trump also posted a photo of himself holding a baseball bat next to a 
picture of Bragg, a Democrat. On Thursday, Trump referred to Bragg, Manhattan's 
first Black district attorney, as an "animal."

   The building where the letter was found wasn't evacuated and business mostly 
went on as usual, with prosecutors coming and going and bicycle delivery 
workers dropping off lunch orders. The building houses various government 
offices, including the city's marriage bureau.

   Security has been heavy around the court buildings and district attorney's 
office in recent days as the grand jury investigates hush money paid on Trump's 
behalf during his 2016 campaign.

   Additional police officers are on patrol, metal barricades have been 
installed along the sidewalks and bomb sniffing dogs have been making regular 
sweeps of the buildings, which have also faced unfounded bomb threats in recent 

   A New York State court spokesman said, "Due to the nature of increased 
interest in proceedings in New York City Courthouses, we have increased 
security, both inside and on the perimeter, and officers have been reminded to 
remain vigilant and maintain situational awareness."

   In a memo to staff Friday, Bragg said the office has also been receiving 
offensive and threatening phone calls and emails. He thanked his staff of 
nearly 1,600 people for persevering in the face of "additional press attention 
and security around our office" and said their safety remains the top priority.

   "We will continue to apply the law evenly and fairly, which is what each of 
you does every single day," Bragg wrote.

   Fabien Levy, a spokesperson for New York Mayor Eric Adams, released a 
statement Friday night saying: "While we cannot comment on the specifics of any 
ongoing investigation, no public official should ever be subject to threats for 
doing his or her job. I'm confident that every elected official in the City, 
including Manhattan DA Bragg, will continue to do their work undeterred, and 
anyone found to be engaging in illegal conduct will be brought to justice."

   The Rev. Al Sharpton said he will hold a prayer vigil for Bragg's safety 
Saturday in Harlem. He and other Black leaders have condemned Trump's rhetoric 
about Bragg and billionaire George Soros, who backed a group that supported 
Bragg's campaign, as "not a dog-whistle but a bullhorn of incendiary and 
anti-semitic bile."

   The grand jury, convened by Bragg in January, has been investigating Trump's 
involvement in a $130,000 payment made in 2016 to porn actor Stormy Daniels to 
keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump 
years earlier. Trump has denied the claim.

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