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Secret Service ends investigation into cocaine found in White House without identifying a suspect

Jul 13, 2023 #News

The Secret Service on Thursday, July 13, said its investigation into how cocaine ended up at the White House is now closed without identifying a suspect.

The agency statement came after congressional Republicans said they were told in a classified Secret Service briefing that the investigation into the cocaine found in the White House West Wing earlier this month was concluding without a determination of who was responsible.

“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 agency said in a lengthy 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.”

The Secret Service said the packaging was “subjected to advanced fingerprint and DNA analysis,” by the FBI crime lab.

“The investigation included a methodical review of security systems and protocols,” the agency statement said. 

“This review included a backwards examination that spanned several days prior to the discovery of the substance and developed an index of several hundred individuals who may have accessed the area where the substance was found. The focal point of these actions developed a pool of known persons for comparison of forensic evidence gleaned from the FBI’s analysis of the substance’s packaging.

“On July 12, the Secret Service received the FBI’s laboratory results, which did not develop latent fingerprints and insufficient DNA was present for investigative comparisons,” the statement said.

Following Thursday’s closed-door briefing to members and staff of the House Oversight Committee, Republicans said they viewed the development as a “failure” of the agency and said the briefers said the investigation was concluding.

“And to say that they don’t know who it is, to me, somebody should lose their job over this. This thing’s a trash can. Everybody wants to pick and choose. They need to shut the whole thing down put the garden hose to it and clean it out,” Rep. Tim Burchett said, adding that the Secret Service told members in the briefing the bag contained less than a gram of cocaine.

Members told reporters the Secret Service informed them they narrowed down the list of suspects to 500 people during the weekend that cocaine was found and said that group included a mix of staffers and visitors who were on a tour. West Wing tours are invitation only.

Members said they were told there are 182 lockers on the wall where visitors are typically told to store their electronics and cell phones. They said they were told the cocaine was found in locker 50.

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert said the key to that locker is missing.

“There’s no collateral system in place. There’s no assigning of the lockers. And this was one of the concerns I raised to Secret Service. We need to be able to track individuals and which locker they are using,” she said.

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