2. Shot of hazardous material team walking in to the US Capitol building
3. Shot of hazardous material response team's truck in front of US Capitol
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dan Nichols, Spokesman for US Capitol Police
"Well the field take is, as I said before on October 15th, it is a down and dirty test. What it does is give us initial indication of whether we are dealing with hazardous material or not. This has turned back unlike October 15th. These tests have come back negative so we know that it is not hazardous material at this point. While we do not know exactly what it is because it is still in the process of being investigated we do know it is not hazardous."
5. Cutaway of reporters at briefing
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dan Nichols, Spokesman for US Capitol Police
"They called us with concern that there is a suspicious letter in their office. We responded according to our protocols and handle it again accordingly. The teams go in as we have in the past, determine that there is a substance in the letter, we do various tests to determine if it is hazardous or not. We determined that this is not hazardous."
7. Shot of team in protective suits being hosed down
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) Dan Nichols
Question: Where is Senator Daschle?
"I am sorry I cannot give location of members of Congress. I can tell you he was in the Capitol. I can tell you that he is safe, he was surprised of the situation and he has also been appraised that he has been rendered safe. All right."
A suspicious letter was found on Thursday in the US Capitol office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, but police said initial tests on a powdery substance in the envelope were negative for any hazardous substance.
"While we do not know what the substance is, we do know that the substance is not hazardous," Lieutenant Dan Nichols, a spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police said.
He said Daschle was "well aware of the situation and he is safe."
Nichols declined to provide any information about the postmark or other identifying information on the piece of mail, which had been opened a few hours earlier.
However, he said the initial tests did not yield information about whether the powdery substance had once been hazardous, whether, for example, it contained anthrax spores that had been rendered harmless when the mail was irradiated.
Additional tests will be conducted on the material inside the letter, Nichols said.
"The material is not hazardous right now," he said.
Nichols described the letter to Daschle as threatening in nature.
He said the powdery material was being turned over to the FBI.
He also said police would notify the U.S. Postal Service, and said he expected officials there would check facilities where the letter has traveled on its way to Daschle's office in the Capitol building.
The Capitol was closed briefly, but not evacuated.
Congress was in recess for the holidays.
Nichols said several times that the substance had been tested and found not to be hazardous.
Even so, the letter instantly raised concern, since Daschle was the recipient of an anthrax-tainted letter in October that exposed more than two dozen people to spores and led to the closure of the Hart Senate Office Building across the street from the Capitol.