White House cocaine mystery deepens: Cocaine appeared to have been found at the White House over the July 4 weekend, and there are still no clear answers on whether it came from
Joe Biden and That ‘Cocaine Problem’
In a bit of shocking news over the Independence Day weekend, a powder was found at the White House that testing determined was probably cocaine.
The discovery, on Friday night, led to “a brief shutdown of some of the White House campus as response workers assessed whether the substance was hazardous,” as well as an evacuation of the building. The president and his family were away at Camp David and not present at the White House when the powder was found.
“The item was sent for further evaluation and an investigation into the cause and manner of how it entered the White House is pending,” a Secret Service spokesperson told the media over the weekend.
The conservative media, and especially Twitter, went straight to blaming Hunter Biden, the president’s son who has battled drug addiction in the past. There is nothing, from what has been reported so far, tying the discovery of the drugs to any particular individual.
But politicians are already demanding answers.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has written a letter to the director of the Secret Service, dated Wednesday, demanding to know how the substance made it into the White House.
“According to public reports, the Secret Service has not yet confirmed where in the West Wing the cocaine was found. I urge you to release that information quickly, as the American people deserve to know whether illicit drugs were found in an area where confidential information is exchanged,” Cotton wrote in the letter.
“If the White House complex is not secure, Congress needs to know the details, as well as your plan to correct any security flaws. Please answer the following questions as soon as practicable, but in any event no later than 5:00PM on Friday, July 14. Further, please contact my staff to arrange a briefing on this matter, as well as the provision of any answers that are classified or law enforcement sensitive.”
Cotton also demanded answers to such questions as which people would have had access to the White House complex, and whether those who have visited the White House have been subject to screenings from the Secret Service’s K-9 units.
“Illegally possessing cocaine is a crime under federal law. If the Secret Service discovers the identity of the individual who brought illicit cocaine into the White House complex, will they make an arrest under this provision?,” Cotton asked. The senator has in the past stated that rather than over-incarceration, the United States has an “under-incarceration problem.”
Meanwhile, per Politico, one law enforcement official claims that it’s unlikely the culprit will ever be found.
“It’s gonna be very difficult for us to do that because of where it was,” the anonymous law enforcement official said of the area, which was described as the “West Exec basement entryway into the West Wing, where many people have authorized access, including staff or visitors coming in for West Wing tours.”
“Even if there were surveillance cameras, unless you were waving it around, it may not have been caught,” the official told Politico.
The Secret Service will be investigating the episode.
“Let’s let the Secret Service do their job, which we believe and have all the confidence that they will get to the bottom of this episode,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week in a briefing, per Politico.
If the mystery of the cocaine is never solved, we can likely be confident that opponents of the president will just say it was Hunter Biden and keep up that pretense, forever.
However, the president’s son was defended Tuesday in a surprising place: Fox News.
“Of course, social media starts making fun — bringing up Hunter’s name, it’s not funny,” Cheryl Casone, appearing on the network, said this week. “And I think that there’s a lot of cheap shots taken at Hunter Biden. He is a recovering addict… and I think the comments were tasteless.”
Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.