FBI agents visited the homes of former GOP Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, said officials.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee confirmed the FBI also visited the homes of state Reps. Robin Smith and Todd Warner, as well as a former aide to the former speaker, according to The Tennessean newspaper and Local24.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman David Boling declined to say what the nature of the searches was and how many people were involved, reported Local24.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton also appeared to confirm the incident, telling local media, “This has been a trying week for our country, and this will be a difficult time for our state as well as we go down this road.”
“Personally, these are our friends and colleagues of ours that we’ve worked with for many years. It’s important to remember that this is just the start of the investigation and the process, and not the end. Today does not necessarily imply guilt,” said Sexton, a Republican.
Sexton told the paper that he placed three staff members on administrative leave in connection to the case being investigated by the FBI.
“Since becoming speaker, I have been contacted by federal authorities regarding an ongoing investigation related to the former speaker’s office,” Sexton also said, according to CBS News. “On the advice of both Ethics and Legal Counsel, I am placing everyone that was subject to the execution of today’s search warrants on administrative leave until further notice.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee acknowledged the agents’ activity on Friday, describing the incidents as raids.
“I’ve spoken with Speaker Sexton this morning and I’m aware of the FBI raids,” Lee said in a press conference. “It’s certainly very concerning. I know very little about that. There’s been no FBI outreach to us but I am confident that Speaker Sexton is on top of this situation as it unfolds.”
Photos uploaded by local reporters showed agents at the Cordell Hull State Office Building in downtown Nashville near Rep. Smith’s office.
Two years ago, Casada resigned from his speakership role after it was revealed that he exchanged lewd messages about women with his former chief of staff. Reports also claimed an aide used cocaine at a legislative office and doctoring emails, although Casada and the aide both denied them.
“I will also continue to work with the federal authorities, and I will encourage my colleagues to cooperate with them as well if they are asked to,” added Sexton, according to WMC5.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Smith’s office and Warner’s office for comment.