(The Center Square) — Republicans raised questions about the security of the White House on Thursday after a U.S. Secret Service probe failed to find out how cocaine ended up in the White House.
House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said he expected better from the Secret Service.
“The White House is supposed to be the most secure residence in the world, but today Secret Service officials failed to answer basic questions or provide any meaningful information related to security failures and cocaine being found at the White House,” he said in a statement.
Comer said the Secret Service must “reassess their security operations to prevent illegal substances from entering the White House.”
The U.S. Secret Service said Thursday it closed its investigation into cocaine found at the White House because of a “lack of physical evidence” 11 days after the illegal drug was found in one of the nation’s most secure buildings.
“There was no surveillance video footage found that provided investigative leads or any other means for investigators to identify who may have deposited the found substance in this area,” the U.S. Secret Service said in a statement. “Without physical evidence, the investigation will not be able to single out a person of interest from the hundreds of individuals who passed through the vestibule where the cocaine was discovered. At this time, the Secret Service’s investigation is closed due to a lack of physical evidence.”
Officers from the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division discovered what later turned out to be cocaine July 2 inside a vestibule leading to the lobby area of the West Executive Avenue entrance to the White House. The stash was located inside a receptacle used to store electronic and personal devices before entering the West Wing. After finding what was then an unknown white powder, the Secret Service temporarily evacuated the White House as a precaution.
Last week, the White House declined to provide additional information about the matter, but said the cocaine was found in a “heavily traveled area.”
“We have confidence that the Secret Service will get to the bottom of this,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at the time.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said the White House is supposed to be the “most secure location on the planet.”
“You better damn well believe that if [the Biden administration] wanted to go figure out where that cocaine came from, the Secret Service of the United States in the White House could figure it out,” Roy said during an interview with Fox News.