UNITED STATES NEWS

No fingerprints, DNA sample or leads from cocaine found at the White House, the Secret Service says

Jul 13, 2023, 7:00 PM

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — No fingerprints or DNA turned up on the baggie of cocaine found in a lobby at the White House last week despite a sophisticated FBI crime lab analysis, and surveillance footage of the area didn’t identify a suspect, according to a summary of the Secret Service investigation obtained by The Associated Press. There are no leads on who brought the drugs into the building.

U.S. Secret Service agents found the white powder during a routine White House sweep on July 2, in a heavily trafficked West Wing lobby where staff go in and out, and tour groups gather to drop their phones and other belongings.

“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,” Secret Service officials said in the summary.

It’s most likely the bag was left behind by one of the hundreds of visitors who traveled in and out of the building over the weekend, according to a person familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to talk about an ongoing probe and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The presence of cocaine at the White House prompted a flurry of criticism and questions from Republicans, who received a closed briefing Thursday on the results of the investigation.

“There is no equal justice,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Thursday. “Anything revolving around ‘Biden, Inc.’ gets treated different than any other American and that’s got to stop.”

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 wasn’t there at the time of the discovery. He was at Camp David with members of his family for the holiday weekend.

The complex was briefly evacuated as a precaution when the white powder was found. The fire department was called in to test the substance on the spot to determine whether it was hazardous, and the initial test came back negative for a biohazard but positive for cocaine.

The bag was sent for a secondary, more sensitive lab analysis. Homeland Security’s National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center analyzed the item for any biothreats. Tests conducted at the facility came back negative.

The cocaine and packaging underwent further forensics testing, including advanced fingerprint and DNA work at the FBI’s crime laboratory, according to the summary. The FBI also did chemical testing.

Meanwhile, Secret Service investigators put together a list of several hundred individuals who may have accessed the area where the drugs were found. Anyone who comes through the White House must give identifying information and pass through security before entering.

But the lab results didn’t turn up latent fingerprints or DNA, so agents can’t compare anything to the possible suspect pool. White House staff are fingerprinted; participants in tour groups 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 to staff-led tours of the West Wing, which are scheduled for nonworking hours on the weekends and evenings. Those tours are invitation-only and led by White House staff for friends, family and other guests. Most staffers who work in the complex can request an evening or weekend tour slot, but there is often a long wait list. There were tours on the day, a Sunday, the drugs were found, as well as on the two preceding days.

The Situation Room, located in the West Wing, where staffers would also drop their phones before entering, has been undergoing construction work and was not in use at the time the baggie was found, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said last week.

___

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

 

United States News

Associated Press

Vermont’s Republican governor allows ghost gun bill to become law without his signature

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has allowed a bill to become law that requires serial numbers on firearms that are privately made with individual parts, kits or 3D printers. Scott allowed the bill, part of an effort to crack down on hard-to-trace ghost guns that are increasingly showing up in crimes, to become law […]

26 minutes ago

Associated Press

2 new giant pandas are returning to Washington’s National Zoo from China by the end of the year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two giant pandas are coming to Washington’s National Zoo from China by the end of the year. The zoo made the announcement Wednesday, about half a year after it sent its three pandas back to China. The number of pandas in American zoos has steadily dwindled as loan agreements lapsed during diplomatic […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $17.1 billion in all-stock deal, plus $5.4 billion in debt

ConocoPhillips is buying Marathon Oil in an all-stock deal valued at approximately $17.1 billion. The deal is valued at $22.5 billion when including $5.4 billion in debt. Crude prices have jumped more than 12% this year and the cost for a barrel rose above $80 this week. As part of the transaction, Marathon Oil shareholders […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Wall Street points toward losses as markets digest earnings, dealmaking

Wall Street was poised to open with losses on Wednesday as some major dealmaking and a handful of earnings reports fill the news void until Friday’s latest inflation report. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average each tumbled 0.6% before the bell. ConocoPhillips said that it is buying Marathon Oil in […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Weather-weary Texas battered again as powerful storm, strong winds kill 1, cause widespread damage

HOUSTON (AP) — Power outages remained widespread Wednesday in storm-weary Texas a day after another burst of severe weather flooded streets, uprooted trees and ripped off roofs. Authorities said a teenager was killed at a construction site while working on a home that collapsed. The severe weather Tuesday, which at one point left more than […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Jury in Trump’s hush money case will begin deliberations after hearing instructions from judge

NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors in Donald Trump’s hush money trial are expected to begin deliberations Wednesday after receiving instructions from the judge on the law and the factors they may consider as they strive to reach a verdict in the first criminal case against a former American president. The deliberations follow a marathon day […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

No fingerprints, DNA sample or leads from cocaine found at the White House, the Secret Service says