NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate were back in session on Tuesday for the first time this year. It comes after federal agents raided the homes and offices of state representatives and their employees on Friday.
The House Republican Caucus met in the Cordell Hull Building <a title=”Legislative session begins as FBI investigates some state lawmakers” href=”https://www.wsmv.com/tncms/asset/editorial/2b4b0ae8-552c-11eb-878c-e37ed7c9099a/”>before the general session.</a> News 4 went there to follow up on the FBI raids that took place and question those involved.
<a title=”SERIES: House Speaker Glen Casada to step down amid weeks of controversy” href=”https://www.wsmv.com/tncms/asset/editorial/a9a00cde-7bd7-11e9-83a8-1f8817563716/”>The FBI investigation is centered around former house speaker Glen Casada</a>, State Representative Todd Warner, and State Representative Robin Smith. Three legislative employees, Holt Whitt, Nadine Korby, and Carol Simpson, <a title=”Three employees placed on administrative leave after lawmakers homes, offices raided” href=”https://www.wsmv.com/tncms/asset/editorial/4d2f4dac-51be-11eb-ad1d-4733f51a4a3d/”>were put on administrative leave.</a>
“Just understand that I am fully cooperating,” Rep. Robin Smith said after the caucus. “There is an investigation, and the statement is as it is. I am not the target of the investigation, but I certainly don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.”
News 4 asked Smith if she’s done anything criminal to warrant the investigation.
“Again, I don’t know. Again, I am cooperating, and I am here to do my job,” she said.
As for what took place insight the hearing room, Chairman William Lamberth says it was a standard caucus meeting before the general session. Republicans in the caucus said they did not discuss the FBI raids.
“It was referenced in the fact that there is an ongoing investigation, but no one knows about the details to my knowledge, and it was not discussed,” comments Lamberth.
Casada never came out for comment, and News 4 never saw him but was told he was in there.
“He was present, yes,” says Lamberth said. “He did not speak, and yes, he was present today and did not address the group in any way.”
Casada was seen shortly <a title=”Tennessee legislative session begins today” href=”https://www.wsmv.com/tncms/asset/editorial/740300f4-54ca-11eb-b0d6-d786ae6a9fc8/”>after at the general session.</a> He escaped the media afterward by taking a side staircase.
But even with an FBI investigation, Smith said she’s in the office to get the job done.
“Every bit of this is a true honor to serve the people of Tennessee, and I am here to do the job,” she said.