The House Oversight and Accountability Committee wants answers from the Secret Service about the cocaine found in the White House over the Fourth of July weekend.
Meanwhile, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said any White House staffer who brought the substance will face “appropriate consequences.”
President Joe Biden so far has ignored questions from the press about the discovery of the illegal drug in the West Wing on Sunday, and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has mostly ducked questions by saying the Secret Service is investigating.
House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., sent a letter Friday to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle requesting a briefing on the incident.
Comer’s letter notes that Congress funds security at the White House, and requires oversight to determine what failures led to a brief evacuation of the building upon discovery Sunday of a substance that proved to be cocaine.
“The presence of illegal drugs in the White House is unacceptable and a shameful moment in the White House’s history,” Comer said in the letter, adding:
According to a senior law-enforcement official, the cocaine was found in a storage facility that is ‘routinely used by White House staff and guests to store cell phones.’ According to reports, USSS agents discovered a suspicious white powder inside the White House, prompting an evacuation of White House staff and personnel. The substance has since been confirmed to be cocaine.
Comer asked for a staff-level briefing July 14 from the Secret Service.
“Congress funds White House security procedures, and the Secret Service has a responsibility to maintain effective safety protocols,” Comer said in a public statement separate from the letter. “This incident and the eventual evacuation of staff now clearly raises concerns about the level of security maintained at the White House. The committee has oversight jurisdiction over [Secret Service] operations, and I look forward to additional information from Director Cheatle.”
Sullivan was at the White House press briefing Friday when more questions came up about who brought the cocaine into the White House.
“We’ll let the investigation unfold. If it involves someone from the White House, the appropriate consequences will ensue,” Sullivan told reporters. “If it involves some visitor who came in and left it, then that is a different matter. That raises a different set of questions that are less relevant to my line of work.”
The Secret Service did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Daily Signal for this story.
This story was updated to include comments from national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
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