Cocaine at the White House? Republicans demand answers
The White House says the matter is under investigation by the Secret Service.
Updated 1:30 p.m. on July 7
House and Senate Republicans are seeking a briefing from the Secret Service about the cocaine found at the White House, citing concerns about security on the complex.
The White House was evacuated on Sunday evening when the president and his family were out of town after the Secret Service discovered what was later confirmed to be cocaine, The Associated Press reported. It was found in a cubby near the White House West Executive entrance over the weekend which was a different location from where it was originally reported to be, NBC News reported on Thursday. This was still a “heavily trafficked area” like the first one, according to the report.
“The presence of illegal drugs in the White House is unacceptable and a shameful moment in the White House’s history,” Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, wrote to a Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle on Friday. This has raised “concerns with the committee regarding the level of security maintained at the White House.”
His committee is seeking a briefing by July 14.
Also, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee's criminal justice and counterterrorism panel, sent a letter to Cheatle on Wednesday asking for answers to a list of questions as well as a briefing 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,” wrote the senator.
Special Agent Steve Kopek, Secret Service spokesperson, said they received the inquires and "since this is an open and active investigation, we are communicating with the Committees and working through appropriate channels to identify what may be responsive to the requests. “
White House Press Secretary Kaine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday the drugs were found in a “heavily traveled area where many…West Wing visitors come through.” The matter was under investigation by the Secret Service, so she and other officials have cited that when asked further questions.