Jul 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House GOP seeks White House cocaine briefing

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.

A Republican-led House committee is seeking a briefing from the U.S. Secret Service on the discovery of cocaine in the White House complex.

Why it matters: GOP lawmakers are making the case that the development raises broader concerns about White House security.

Driving the news: Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, requested "additional information" about the incident in a letter to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle.

  • "The presence of illegal drugs in the White House is unacceptable and a shameful moment in the White House’s history," he wrote.
  • Comer said the discovery has "raised additional concerns with the Committee regarding the level of security maintained at the White House," requesting a staff-level briefing by July 14.

The context: The detection of a white substance prompted a brief evacuation of the White House campus on Sunday, with lab tests later determining the powder was cocaine.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday that the cocaine was found in a "heavily trafficked" area of the West Wing — reportedly a cubby near one of the entrances.
  • "The president and the first lady and their family were not here this weekend, as you all reported on this," Jean-Pierre added.

The big picture: Comer has spent much of his energy during the past seven months investigating the finances of President Biden's family members, particularly his son, Hunter Biden.

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