A recent lab test has confirmed that the white substance discovered at the White House on Sunday is cocaine, according to an official familiar with the investigation.
The substance, found in a small zippered bag in a frequently visited area of the West Wing, prompted a brief evacuation and was tested by the Secret Service. The exact duration the bag had been in the White House is unknown, and the number of people passing through the area makes it challenging to determine who was responsible for the substance.
The Secret Service is leading the investigation and will review security cameras and entrance logs for clues. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that the Secret Service has the authority over the investigation and expressed confidence that they will uncover the truth.
The White House “is subject to rigorous guidelines that include drug testing and so we will take any action that is appropriate and warranted, pending the outcome of the Secret Service,” Jean-Pierre told reporters, adding that she wouldn’t “get into hypotheticals.”
President Joe Biden was briefed on the incident, although he and his family were at Camp David when the cocaine was discovered.
“The president thinks it’s very important to get to the bottom of this,” Jean-Pierre said in response to a question about how determined Biden is to uncover who brought drugs into the White House.
Jean-Pierre reiterated that the cocaine was found in a heavily traveled area that visitors often transit.
Sen. Tom Cotton sent a letter to the Secret Service Director requesting information about the location where the cocaine was found, inquiring about access to the White House, previous instances of illegal drugs, and security procedures. Cotton emphasized the importance of a secure White House complex and requested a response by July 14.
“If the White House complex is not secure, Congress needs to know the details, as well as your plan to correct any security flaws,” Cotton said.
The cocaine was discovered during routine patrols by Secret Service officers, and both a preliminary field test and formal lab test confirmed its identity as cocaine.