The Secret Service announced this week that the agency has wrapped up its investigation into the mysterious small bag of cocaine found at the White House earlier this month with a search for the culprit.
The agency said the case was closed due to lack of forensic evidence coupled with the fact that the class A drug was found in an area where around 500 people were passing through at the time it was believed to have been discarded.
The agency determined that because the cocaine totaled about 0.007 ounces, meaning it would only be a misdemeanor in the District of Columbia, it would be a waste of public resources to interview 500 people.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Gugliemi said nbc news that conducting such a large number of interviews may also infringe on civil rights and that, without physical evidence, a confession would likely be necessary.
‘Yes, you could have a consensual interview. But we have no evidence to approach them,” Gugliemi said.
President Joe Biden has been able to avoid facing the latest White House scandal when he fled Washington, DC for meetings across Europe this week.
Former President Donald Trump wondered on TruthSocial how, with all the security cameras available in the West Wing, investigators were unable to find the culprit.
The Secret Service announced Thursday that the investigation was closed.
Former federal prosecutor and acting DEA administrator under President Barack Obama, Chuck Rosenberg, echoed Gugliemi’s comments, telling NBC News the agency has to make calls about what to investigate and what not to investigate.
“They could have done the interviews, but at the end of the day it’s a long way across dry sand. They have finite resources and it’s okay for them to decide that some things are worthwhile and others aren’t,” Rosenberg said.
Secret Service agents found the white powder during a routine White House raid on July 2, in a busy West Wing lobby where staff come and go and tour groups gather to leave their phones and other belongings.
“Without physical evidence, the investigation will not be able to identify a person of interest among the hundreds of people who passed through the lobby where the cocaine was discovered,” Secret Service officials said in the summary.
The presence of cocaine at the White House prompted a series of criticisms and questions from Republicans, who received a briefing behind closed doors Thursday on the results of the investigation.
“There is no such thing as equal justice,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Thursday. ‘Anything that revolves around ‘Biden, Inc.’ he gets treated differently than any other American and that has to stop.’
Former President Donald Trump wrote his skepticism about his skepticism on his Truth Social platform.
‘Despite all the cameras pointing right at the ‘crime scene’ and the best forensics anywhere in the world, they just can’t figure it out? They know the answer, and so does everyone else! ”wrote the former reality show host.
A leading Republican opponent of Trump in 2024, Nikki Haley, told Tucker Carlson in an interview Friday that she believes the closure of the investigation is a “cover up.”
While Trump acolyte and 2024 Republican primary opponent Nikki Haley told Tucker Carlson in an interview on friday without presenting any evidence, that he believes the closure of the investigation is a ‘cover up’.
“I strongly believe this is a cover-up. for any hunter [Biden]or someone very close to the president and they don’t want to say who he is,’ said the former ambassador to the United Nations.
I know the area where the locker is. People don’t just come in and out of there. It is the president, vice president, cabinet members or deputy directors. No one else is going in there,” Haley added.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden believed it was “incredibly important” for the Secret Service to get to the bottom of how the drugs ended up in the White House.
The Secret Service is responsible for securing the White House and led the investigation.
Biden was not there at the time of the discovery. He was at Camp David with members of his family over the holiday weekend.
The complex was briefly evacuated as a precaution when the white powder was found.
The fire department was called to test the substance at the scene to determine if it was dangerous, and the initial test came back negative for biohazard but positive for cocaine.
The bag was sent for more sensitive secondary laboratory analysis. The National Security Biodefense Countermeasures and Analysis Center analyzed the article for biological threats. Tests conducted at the facility came back negative.
The cocaine and packaging underwent further forensic testing, including advanced fingerprinting and DNA work at the FBI crime lab, according to the summary. The FBI also did chemical tests.
The Secret Service confirmed Thursday that marijuana was found twice at the White House in 2022, raising more questions about security after cocaine was discovered there earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Secret Service investigators have compiled a list of several hundred people who may have gained access to the area where the drugs were found.
Anyone passing through the White House must provide identifying information and go through security before entering.
But the lab results turned up no latent fingerprints or DNA, so agents can’t compare anything to the potential pool of suspects. White House staff are fingerprinted; tour group participants are not.
Video of the West Executive Street lobby entrance did not identify the person or provide any solid investigative leads, the Secret Service said.
The lobby is open for tours led by West Wing staff, which are scheduled for non-business hours on weekends and evenings. Those tours are by invitation only and are led by White House staff for friends, family and other guests.
Most of the staff members who work at the complex can request an evening or weekend tour, but there is often a long waiting list. There were tours on the Sunday the drug was found, as well as the two previous days.