The Secret Service announced this week that it has concluded its investigation into the discovery of a baggie of cocaine at the White House.
The agency explained that the case has been closed due to a combination of factors, including a lack of sufficient forensic evidence and the large number of individuals who passed through the area during the time frame in question.
The investigation was purportedly hindered by the fact that the cocaine found amounted to a mere 0.007 ounces, which would only constitute a misdemeanor offense in the District of Columbia. According to the Daily Mail, the Secret Service deemed conducting interviews with the approximately 500 people who were in the vicinity at the time ‘impractical’ and an ‘inefficient use of public resources.’
Anthony Gugliemi, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, further stated that conducting such a vast number of interviews could potentially infringe on individuals’ civil rights. He also noted that without any physical evidence, obtaining a confession would likely be necessary for progressing the investigation. Gugliemi explained, “Yes, you could have a consensual interview. But we have no evidence to approach them.”
Chuck Rosenberg, a former US Attorney and acting administrator of the DEA under President Barack Obama, supported the Secret Service’s decision, noting that agencies must prioritize and make judgments regarding which cases to investigate based on available resources. Rosenberg remarked, “They could have done the interviews, but at the end of the day it’s a long walk through dry sand. They have finite resources and it’s OK for them to decide some things are worth their time and some things are not worth their time.”
The discovery of cocaine at the White House generated criticism and questions from Republicans, who received a closed briefing on the investigation’s results. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed his concerns, stating, “There is no equal justice. Anything revolving around ‘Biden, Inc.’ gets treated differently than any other American, and that’s got to stop.”
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump shared his skepticism on his Truth Social platform, writing, “Despite all of the cameras pointing directly at the ‘scene of the crime’ and the greatest forensics anywhere in the World, they just can’t figure it out? They know the answer, and so does everyone else!”
Republican primary opponent Nikki Haley also weighed in on the investigation, alleging a cover-up without providing any evidence to support her claim. Haley stated, “I strongly believe this is a cover-up. For either Hunter [Biden], or someone very close to the President, and they don’t want to say who it is.”
“I know the area where the locker is. People don’t just go in and out of there. It is either the president, the vice president, cabinet members, or deputy directors. Nobody else is going in there,” Haley added.
She further questioned the accessibility of the area where the drugs were found, suggesting that only high-ranking officials would have access. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized President Joe Biden’s belief in the importance of the Secret Service thoroughly investigating how the drugs ended up in the White House.
During the incident, President Biden was not present at the White House as he was at Camp David with his family for the holiday weekend. As a precautionary measure, the complex was briefly evacuated when the white powder was discovered. The substance was immediately tested on-site by the fire department to determine if it posed any biohazard risks. The initial test came back negative for biothreats but positive for cocaine. Subsequently, the bag and its contents underwent further forensic testing, including advanced fingerprint and DNA analysis at the FBI’s crime laboratory. Additionally, the FBI conducted chemical testing.
While Secret Service investigators compiled a list of several hundred individuals who may have accessed the area where the drugs were found, the absence of latent fingerprints or DNA made it ‘impossible’ to compare any evidence to the potential suspect pool. Notably, White House staff members are fingerprinted, but participants in tour groups are not. The review of video footage from the West Executive street lobby entrance failed to identify any individuals or provide substantial leads, according to the Secret Service.