Remarks as prepared for delivery
Thank you all for being here.
Over the past week, more than 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 current and former political leaders in the Democratic Party.
This is utterly unacceptable. Political violence—or the threat of violence—is antithetical to our vigorous system of self-government.
It is a threat to that respect for law and process that allows our people to accept legislation, elections, and court rulings with which we do not agree.
This is the central feature of our system of government: you advocate for your beliefs enthusiastically but we peaceably and lawfully comply with the results.
Please know that from the beginning this investigative team has made this matter a top priority, focusing their great talents and expertise on 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, the capability, and determination of our American law enforcement.
So 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 in this case—as in every case—is innocent until proven guilty.
He has been 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.
For these charges, the defendant faces up to 48* years in prison.
These charges may change or expand as the investigation continues.
This is a law-and-order administration. We will not tolerate such lawlessness, and especially not political violence.
And so I want to thank FBI Director Wray and his team, all of our law enforcement partners who are here: ATF, the Secret Service, our Postal Inspectors, the Capitol Police, and the New York City Police Department. And United States Attorney Berman of the Southern District of New York, and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Ariana Orshan.
Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers from across America responded immediately to the cause and contributed to this effort. We are proud of each one of them.
I want to reiterate that the defendant in this case is innocent until proven guilty.
But let this be a lesson to anyone—regardless of their political beliefs—that we will bring the full force of law against anyone who attempts to use threats, intimidation, and outright violence to further any agenda.
We will find you. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.
And now Director Wray—who has done incredible work leading this effort over the last few days—will now give us the details on today’s important arrest.
*An earlier version of these remarks incorrectly stated 58 years.