Following the discovery of cocaine at the White House on Sunday night, the United States Secret Service has initiated an investigation. The substance was found in the West Wing, which includes the Oval Office and working areas for presidential aides and staff, leading to a brief evacuation. During a routine inspection, Secret Service agents found the suspicious powder in an area accessible to tour groups.
At the time of the discovery, President Joe Biden and his family were at Camp David in Maryland. A senior law enforcement official informed reporters that the substance was found in a storage facility commonly used by White House staff and guests to store mobile phones.
As a precaution, the White House complex was closed around 20:45 local time (00:45 GMT) on Sunday. Subsequently, a preliminary test confirmed it was indeed cocaine, as reported by the Washington Post.
In response to the incident, the Secret Service will conduct a thorough review to determine how the substance entered the White House. They will examine cameras and entrance logs to identify individuals who had access to the area where it was discovered.
Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act by the US Drug Enforcement Administration due to its high potential for abuse.
The West Wing is a significant and multi-level section of the White House that houses the offices of the president of the United States, including the Oval Office and the Situation Room. It also accommodates the offices of the vice president, the White House chief of staff, the press secretary, and numerous other staff members who have access to the area.