US officials inspect Russian consular home in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. State Department officials have drilled out locks to inspect the former Russian consul general’s Seattle residence, a day after Russian staff vacated the site.

President Donald Trump’s administration announced last month the diplomatic outpost would be closed and 60 Russian diplomats expelled nationwide to punish Moscow for its alleged role in poisoning an ex-spy in Britain.

The Seattle Times reports a locksmith behind a blue tarp drilled out the front gate’s lock on Wednesday, and that U.S. officials moved on to the residence’s front door and a basement door.

The Russian Embassy objected on Twitter, describing it as an invasion. The Russians own the building and the U.S. owns the land it sits on.

The State Department said it conducted a residence walk-through to ensure the Russians had left.