Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to Robert De Niro in Manhattan after one was reported early Thursday morning in the building where his production company is based. The package appears similar to pipe bomb packages recently mailed to top Democrats nationwide.
CNN reports that the package was found on the seventh floor of a building in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood and reported to police around 4:45 a.m. The building contains Tribeca Enterprises — which includes De Niro's Tribeca Productions film and television company and organizes the Tribeca Film Festival — and De Niro's Tribeca Grill restaurant.
Police sent the package to a secure facility in the Bronx, said New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill. "The most highly trained experts in the world are investigating today's suspicious package in #TriBeCa," O'Neill tweeted.
The most highly-trained experts in the world are investigating today’s suspicious package in #TriBeCa — & the item is now en route to a secure facility in the #Bronx. Together with our partners @NewYorkFBI, @ATFNewYork, @nyspolice & more, @NYPDCT WILL find whoever is responsible. //t.co/4WcCwz4dME— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) October 25, 2018
The package contained an explosive device similar to the pipe bombs found in other packages this week addressed to prominent Democrats across the country, two sources said X-ray images showed.
The building was evacuated after the package was found and has now been re-opened, according to Tribeca Enterprises co-founder Jane Rosenthal. "The building is open and everybody is safe," she told CNN. "This is not what free speech should look like."
De Niro has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump. At June's Tony Awards, he went off-script while introducing a performance by Bruce Springsteen to curse Trump. "First, I wanna say, 'F— Trump,'" he said. "It's no longer 'Down with Trump,' it's 'F— Trump.'"
In addition to its appearance, the package also had the same return address as the others: that of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. One of those packages was delivered to her office only after an address to President Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, was an incorrect address, so it was returned to sender.
The package addressed to De Niro came around the same time officials intercepted a similar one addressed to former vice president Joe Biden. Both packages addressed to De Niro and Biden are now in police custody. Similar to the other seven packages found earlier in the week, neither of the bombs detonated and no one was injured.
Authorities were aware of the package sent to Biden on Wednesday; it had been misaddressed and returned to sender, similar to the package addressed to Holder, so postal officials were trying to track it down.
Other prominent figures and Trump critics sent suspicious packages this week are: Former President Barack Obama; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; former Attorney General Eric Holder; Democratic US Rep. Maxine Waters; former CIA director John Brennan (via CNN's New York offices); and billionaire investor and Democratic donor George Soros.
The devices inside the packages were all similar and appeared to be pipe bombs, which are inherently unstable and run the risk of being set off just by handling. Most of the devices showed the presence of a sulfur substance, which could have exploded, CNN reports.