By Editor-July 5th, 2023.
The US White House was briefly evacuated Sunday evening after the Secret Service discovered suspicious-looking white powder in an area of the West Wing that is accessible to tourists and visitors.
A preliminary test showed the powder was only cocaine, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
It was not immediately reported whether the white powder was loose or in some kind of bag or container, but the Daily Mail later revealed that it was found in a “dime-sized bag” in a storage facility regularly used by staff and guests.
An American dime is 0.7 inches in diameter.
U.S. Secret Service declined to comment on the ongoing investigation to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, but doubled-down that the white powder substance was found in a ‘work area within the West Wing’ of the White House.
It appears the federal law enforcement agency is still on the hunt for who brought the cocaine into the White House – while Republican lawmakers and conservative trolls immediately suggested that Biden’s addict son Hunter, 52, was the source.
Secret Service agents were doing routine rounds on Sunday when they found the white powder in an area accessible to tour groups, not in any particular West Wing office, the officials said.
The officials were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. At the time President Joe Biden was at Camp David, enjoying the holiday weekend, and no members of his family were in the White House.
The office complex was completely evacuated at about 8:45 p.m. Sunday as fire and emergency crews were brought in to do a rapid test, which preliminarily identified cocaine. The White House was soon reopened and the powder was sent for further testing.
Biden and his family left for Camp David on Friday and returned to the White House on Tuesday.
The Secret Service said in a statement the White House was closed as a precaution as emergency crews investigated, and that the District of Columbia fire department was called in to evaluate and determine that the substance was not hazardous.
“The item was sent for further evaluation and an investigation into the cause and manner of how it entered the White House is pending,” the Secret Service said.
Why the big fuss about white powder? Those with good memories will recall the 2001 anthrax attacks (also known as Amerithrax (a combination of “America” and “anthrax“, from its FBI case name) of September 2001, just a week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Letters containing a clumped coarse brown granular material which looked similar to dog food.with anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, killing five people and infecting 17 others.
According to the FBI the ensuing investigation became “one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement” and the identity of the perpetrators remains controversial.
Source: NPR, news agencies.