Photos of the U.S. Secret Service’s summer discovery and investigation of cocaine at the White House have been released for the first time through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The photos released through the FOIA request by the Daily Mail show a small bag of approximately one gram of a white powder substance in White House locker No. 50. The lockers are located near the West Executive entrance to the White House and are used to hold visitors’ personal items.
According to Daily Mail, the white powder that was discovered in the locker on July 2, when President Joe Biden and his family were away at Camp David, was eventually identified as cocaine. The initial discovery caused an evacuation of the White House’s West Wing, as well as street closings around the White House, before the substance was identified as cocaine and the Secret Service launched an 11-day investigation of the incident.
In addition to the photos released of the cocaine discovery, Daily Mail also obtained documents that indicated Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Deputy Director Paul Abbate was involved in the cocaine investigation. However, despite the involvement of the FBI and the Secret Service, the investigation was closed less than two weeks after it began as a result of a “lack of evidence.”
“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 Secret Service said in a 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 Daily Mail reported that while the Secret Service had narrowed the investigation down to about 500 White House visitors, security video footage did not provide solid evidence since the surveillance cameras do not face toward the lockers where the cocaine was discovered.
When the Secret Service closed the investigation in July, spokesperson Anthony Guliemi indicated that the agency did not interview potential suspects as part of the investigation.
The Daily Mail also reported that a source familiar with the layout of the White House locker area claimed the lockers are not assigned to specific individuals. Instead, the lockers are reportedly used regularly by White House guests.
The discovery of cocaine at the White House resulted in the Biden administration being questioned about the possibility of the substance belonging to a member of the Biden family, especially Hunter Biden, who has publicly acknowledged a previous addition to crack cocaine, according to The New York Post.
Asked in July whether the cocaine found at the White House belonged to a member of the Biden family, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “I have been very clear, I was clear two days ago when talking about this over and over again as I was being asked the question, as you know, and media outlets reported this, the Biden family was not here.”
“They were not here. They were at Camp David,” Jean-Pierre added. “They were not here Friday, they were not here Saturday or Sunday, they were not even here Monday. They came back on Tuesday. So to ask that question is actually incredibly irresponsible, and I’ll just leave it there.”