Cocainegate Update Throws White House Into Chaos
This Sunday, a suspicious white powder was discovered by the Secret Service at the White House, spurring a temporary lockdown of the complex and subsequent investigation. Further testing has confirmed the substance to be cocaine, according to a law enforcement official.
The discovery of the powder was made at the West Wing, an area of the White House which houses offices of several top aides and support staff, as well as the Oval Office. It was found near an entrance with cubbies, where visitors to the complex are asked to leave phones before taking a tour.
The importance of this discovery has not been lost on the Secret Service, who are further investigating the matter in an effort to figure out how the illicit substance made it through security and unbeknownst to any of the staff or visitors. Security footage is being surveilled and entrance logs are being examined to garner more information as to who brought the cocaine on site.
Roughly an hour after discovering the powder, a first responder of the District of Columbia Fire Department ran a test, which confirmed the presence of cocaine hydrochloride. An additional test took place two nights later to verify it.
Though the President was not at the White House when the powder was found, Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden and family members returned the following Tuesday for 4th of July festivities and an event with the National Education Association.
This is not the first instance of drug-related activity at the White House – in 2018, a suspicious white powder was discovered in a mail sent to President Trump, which also turned out to be cocaine. US Marshals also seized a package containing a mixture of fentanyl and heroin while it was being delivered to the Executive Mansion in 2017.
According to attorney Brian K. McDaniel of The McDaniel Law Group, "[These incidents] bring into question the safety protocols in place for security and staff at the White House, to prevent criminal activity in the highly secured building."
The White House and Secret Service have yet to issue an official statement on the matter, but the implications of this discovery could change the face of security in the complex. As of now, authorities are still working to identify who left the cocaine at the White House, and, given its intense security protocols, many are still in shock as to how it could have ever made it through the door.