NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 8, 2021) — FBI agents raided the homes of former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada and other Republican allies early Friday morning, as well as their legislative offices, as part of an unspecified probe into possible public corruption.
U.S. Attorney’s Office of Middle Tennessee confirmed FBI agents are searching the homes and offices of state lawmakers in Nashville.
Spokesperson David Boling confirmed the searches include the homes of former House Speaker Glen Casada and Rep. Robin Smith. He declined to provide any further comments at this time regarding the nature of the investigation.
NewsChannel 5 spotted agents working the halls of the Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville where legislative offices are located. An FBI agent stood guard outside the Franklin Republican’s legislative office, while other agents were seen leaving offices of Reps. Robin Smith, R-Hixson, and Kent Calfee, R-Kingston.
The simultaneous raids, executing search warrants issued by a federal judge, began at 7 a.m. Friday morning.
NewsChannel 5 spotted two FBI agents entering Casada’s condo in Franklin at 7 a.m.
Casada, who resigned as House speaker in August 2019 following a NewsChannel 5 investigation and was re-elected to the state House in November 2020, greeted agents in his bathrobe.
A search team entered the residences with boxes and photographic equipment around 8 a.m. and emerged two hours later carrying a couple of boxes of potential evidence.
Sources tell NewsChannel 5 Investigates that searches were also executed at the homes of Robin Smith and newly elected Rep. Todd Warner, R-Lewisburg.
NewsChannel 5 spotted FBI agents outside the homes of former Casada aides Cade Cothren and Holt Whitt. Agents were seen carrying evidence out of Cothren’s downtown Nashville apartment.
At Whitt’s East Nashville residence, FBI agents drove him down the street to talk to him in the back of an unmarked car. Returning home, he could be seen handing over his smartphone.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed the FBI’s presence and involvement in on-going searches, but would not elaborate on the focus of the investigation.
Current House Speaker Cameron Sexton released a statement Friday morning, saying multiple staff members have been placed on administrative leave in connection with the probe. He will provide an update at 11:30 a.m.
Gov. Bill Lee was asked about the matter during his scheduled media availability this morning and said he was “aware” of the situation.
“I’ve spoken with Speaker Sexton this morning and I’m aware of the FBI raids. It’s certainly very concerning. I know very little about that. There’s been no FBI outreach to us, but I have confidence that Speaker Sexton is on top of the situation and we’ll learn more as this unfolds,” said Lee.
Check back with BeeNewsDailyBlog.com for additional updates throughout the day.