Police investigate threat letter to Bobby Rush

January 8, 2009 (CHICAGO) Inside that threatening letter was a mystery white powder. It was determined that the white powder was just NutraSweet.

As for the threatening letter, it is now in the hands of Chicago police and the FBI for further investigation.

It was shortly after noon Thursday when an employee at Congressman Rush's South Side office opened the mail and discovered the letter containing several racial slurs, threatening the congressman's life and a threat to blow up the office. Because a mystery white powder was found in the letter, a hazmat team was called in.

A portion of 79th Street was blocked off but reopened after it was determined the powder was NutraSweet and there was no threat. Rush's office went back to work.

The congressman is in Washington, D.C.

His staff says it does not come as a surprise because of who Bobby Rush is.

"There are always concerns with threats, but, you know, he is a person who has his entire life been fighting for social justice and civil rights, so in that regard it's not anything new. But we will, of course, take all the precautions and do everything we can here to keep everyone protected," said Toure Muhammed, Rush press secretary.

Congressman Rush has been in the news lately, with the whole Burris and Blagojevich situation. His staff says that there was no mention of Burris or Blagojevich in the threatening letter.

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