FBI visit to Tennessee Capitol sparks jitters

Federal agents meet with legislative staffers outside the office of Rep. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) in Nashville on Jan. 8, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

FBI agents visited the first floor of the state Capitol on Tuesday, setting off shockwaves around a statehouse complex still reeling from raids on three lawmakers’ homes and offices on the eve of the legislative session. But authorities were quick to disavow any connection to the probe into Republican Reps. Glen Casada of Franklin, Robin Smith of Hixson, and Todd Warner of Chapel Hill.

“The visit by several of our agents was not related to the raid that occured in January,” FBI spokeswoman Elizabeth Clement-Webb told The Tennessee Journal. “This was solely outreach.”

The agents were spotted flashing badges at troopers manning the gate to the Capitol, and later as they were escorted past security to the floor housing the offices of Gov. Bill Lee, his top advisers, and the state’s constitutional officers.

Lee spokeswoman Laine Arnold said the visit “had nothing to do with the raids.”

WTVF-TV’s Phil Williams has reported that Casada has been telling associates the FBI asked him questions about how he helped pass the governor’s signature school voucher law when he was the House speaker in 2019. Casada was asked about allegations of bribes being offered to help gain support, the people he spoke to told Williams.

Casada has denied offering inducements in exchange for votes when voucher bill was deadlocked on a 49-49 vote. The measure later passed by a single vote.

32 Responses to FBI visit to Tennessee Capitol sparks jitters

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    Cryan says:

    Casada is about to flip on Bill Lee. Who’s your daddy now, Minute Man?

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      Cryan says:

      I told you all it was going to the top. Casada and Smith are nobodies. Classic FBI move to get some low-lives on Cocaine and fraud charges and then cut a deal for information. Casada is a rat, and Bill Lee is an idiot.

      I’m just going to pop my popcorn and enjoy the show.

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    Benton Temple says:

    “outreach”

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    James White says:

    Did the FBI have a search warrant? If not, tell the to hit the road.

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      Cryan says:

      Yes, they had a search warrant. Did you not see the pictures of Casada answering his door wearing a skimpy bathrobe when the search warrant was executed at The Gay Divorcee Condominium Complex?

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      Jeff says:

      If I had nothing to hide, I’d be completely hospitable to FBI agents.

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    John Clements says:

    Lock Bill Lee and his staff up.

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    Cryan says:

    This is how it goes down. All for a voucher bill applicable to 2 of 95 counties that will most likely be struck down as unconstitutional under Home Rule.

    Does Bill Lee have a crush on Betsy Devos or something? Did he think this would impress her? What a strange way to blow it all.

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    Missy S says:

    FBI just likes to talk.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Oh Missy, let the kids rant and rave over nothing much at all. It’s so cute when they get excited and are having fun.

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        Cryan says:

        The arrogance of Bill Dipshit Lee was cute. He thought Bill Barr would still be Attorney General to shut this down. Is it just a coincidence that on the same day the Lee administration starts colluding with Blackburn’s office on Public Relations is the same day Blackburn and Hagerty vote against Merrick Garland? That’s right, Tennessee Senators comprised nearly 10% of the no votes on Merrick Garland. Too bad. Garland isn’t going let this go under the rug.

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          Eddie White says:

          What you are saying is that the new Biden administration is using the FBI for a political hack job. Maybe you are right for a change.

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            Cryan says:

            Are you calling John Mark Windle a liar? Surely even you are better than that. He famously said to Casada “My vote is not for sale.”

            This case is open and shut. If there was any political interference, it would have come from the Trump administration squashing the investigation. It shouldn’t have taken this long to get rolling.

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    Donna Locke says:

    I loathe the voucher bills, but I have to say I think Casada thought he had to run things the way Naifeh did and get governor’s bills passed in any way that could be done. Remember when Naifeh would redo a vote? And trades happened a lot. This is what Casada and the others saw and thought they were taught when they were young in the legislature.

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    Eddie White says:

    Lord only knows how many backroom deals the Democrats did under Naifeh.

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    Misty Pardner says:

    Grab your popcorn kids. This is going to be bigger than the Tennessee Waltz or Operation Rocky Top.

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    Misty Pardner says:

    Hey Stuie, you’re so cute! I hope your infatuation with former Speaker Casada continues when he is in prison. Regular visits by groupies will be necessary for him to keep what sanity he has. Gifts will be helpful to keep his relationships “lubricated” within the walls of Federal accommodations. You know, like when he was Speaker.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      So touchy Mist. I simply asked you a question in four words in order to make sure you weren’t underestimating this potential crime of this century that you and your little friends were conjuring up out of what is at present a nothingburger and I get a sarcastic reply in return.

      If Glen Casada (ACU-88%) who has done so much with my tiny assistance to make the state House as conservative as it is with the Republican Super Majority that is so important for the preservation of our liberties does happen to break the law (this is really an absurd hypothetical) then he should pay the price for having done so. As a conservative I am refreshingly consistent. There will be no whining from me about how Glen’s daddy was absent or abusive, and/or how Glen was a member of some put-upon minority and/or how Glen contracted some psychological tic that made him no longer responsible for what he does, etc. etc. You know Mist, the kind of crap leftists put out whenever one of their political co-zealot commits a crime. For me Mist, it’s “Do the crime do the time.” LAW AND ORDER CONSERVATISM – don’t you just love it!?!?

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    Phillip Lassiter says:

    FBI isn’t in the business of outreach.

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    Phillip Lassiter says:

    One more thing….keep up the good work with your loose lips, Glen.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    They might be visiting to evaluate Lamberth’s office for a possible Nashville Field Office annex. The current workload involving the Legislature might require one.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    I think it is great to have every sphincter go tight any time the FBI shows up at the capitol. You know the good ole boys in the capitol are starting to wonder…is it time? These guys know there is so much to be guilty of, take your pick of dirty tricks or corruption by the group. Let em’ sweat for awhile! Marsha is dumb enough to trip over her own feet, she will foolishly maneuver herself into a corner soon enough. Our conservative and republican friends in the state are getting a close up look at how the FBI operates and it could not happen to a more qualified group.

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    Cryan says:

    Bill Lee went walking down Broadway without his mask on today. I guess Laine Arnold was sidelined by a Blackburn beauty pageant/Fox News consultant.

    It would have been good strategy 15 years ago, but politics have changed. People can see through the deflection. That governor of Texas stopped wearing a mask because he was getting drilled over the oil pipe freeze story.

    Bill Lee can make masks illegal, but we will never forget he and the Gay Divorcee attempted to bribe a military veteran with a National Guard promotion – just so two counties who never wanted it could be forced to hand out debit cards for internet schools.

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      Eddie White says:

      I guess Bill Lee and I have something in common. I left the SEC tournament at Bridgestone yesterday and walked backed to my car with no mask. Did not need to be wearing one outside. A lot of PR stuff going on with masks these days. Makes good television. It also gives the left something to complain about. The bad news for Democrats in Tennessee, your complaints and your political party are insignificant in this state.

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        Cryan says:

        The insignificance of the Tennessee Democratic Party is a true statement. If some of these folks are found guilty, they will be replaced by other Republicans. The best I can hope for is that the replacements are scared straight by the law and do better.

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    There is no shortage of BAD NEWS for all the republican lawmakers in Tennessee. Of course, they bring it on themselves.

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    William Graham says:

    This whole commentary reads like a soap opera. We all know who the players are. The republicans have exerted their influence to a point of criminality. So, the only thing remaining is to call others childish names.
    I might think differently of GOP if and when the KKK Bust is removed from the capital building and whether any of them can form their minds to declare President Biden and Vice President Harris legitimately won the election. Casada and supporting cast must be removed from office. Casada has been a troublesome character too long. How Gov Lee fits in is a mystery to me, but I personally don’t understand Lee’s policies or maybe lack-there-of. The FBI has an obligation to investigate crime and corruption. Looks like they came to the right address.

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