White House Cocaine Probe Comes to an End, But Wild Speculation Doesn’t.
The Secret Service investigation into who may have brought cocaine into the White House earlier this month is officially closed.
The partisan battle over the episode is not.
Tests of a plastic bag found to contain less than a gram of the drug or about a quarter of a teaspoon produced no usable fingerprints or DNA evidence that could identify a suspect among the hundreds of people who pass through the vestibule area where the cocaine was found the Secret Service said in a lengthy statement Thursday. For More Information…
Since there was no way to link the bag to any of the personnel who had access to the location the investigation by the Secret Service is now over owing to a lack of tangible evidence according to the statement.
The inquiry and failure to ID a suspect did not go over well with Capitol Hill Republicans, who have accused the Biden administration of “weaponizing” federal law enforcement and are pointing to the cocaine case as evidence of White House incompetence.
“High schools can figure out when kids bring marijuana, but the White House can’t figure out who brought a bag of cocaine?” tweeted Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican.
GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
told reporters on Capitol Hill that she didn’t understand why authorities could not simply drug test “this list of approximately 500 suspects.” It’s “also a failure with the amount of cameras they have,” the Georgia lawmaker said.
“The idea that someone would walk into the White House with cocaine powder, drop it off somewhere and they not know, or at least be able to narrow it down to the 25 people on the planet who were in that area or had access to that area during a defined period of time is ridiculous,” Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said on Fox news. “It’s absurd. It’s just not true.”
Rubio’s estimate of 25 people who could be suspect runs afoul of both the Secret Service assessment as well as descriptions of the area by White House officials. The area in question, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during the investigation, is “heavily trafficked,” including by outside guests at the White House for private tours.
People who come into the White House must leave their cellphones and other electronics in cubbyholes before accessing more sensitive areas of the West Wing. The cocaine was reportedly found in that area, meaning it could have been left inadvertently by a visitor who – for some reason – thought it was a smart idea to bring illegal drugs into a highly secure building crawling with federal law enforcement.
Previous reporting noted that the cocaine was found near the Situation Room. National security adviser Jake Sullivan last week cast that reporting as misleading, noting that the Situation Room is under renovation and is not being used right now.
The idea that a member of the first family was responsible for bringing in the cocaine has been batted around social media and on conservative programs.
Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son,
is an admitted former drug addict and the focus of an investigation of House Republicans for his business dealings.
However, the first family – including Hunter Biden – was at Camp David for days before the cocaine was discovered, meaning the drug would have had to go unnoticed for some time, if the president’s son had brought it in the building. Further, family members would not typically put their belongings into a cubby hole before venturing into the West Wing.
Republicans still speculated – albeit somewhat jokingly – about the possibility Thursday.
“It should be obvious where the cocaine came from,” since law enforcement surveillance should have been able to figure it out, GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said on the conservative program “The Benny Show” after the Secret Service released its report.
He then added, “I thought, maybe Hunter was just being a good son to his dad and helping him with his presidential debate prep. Which is what they might have been doing in the White House Ramaswamy added with a chuckle.