Jul 10, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Secret Service to brief congressional staff on White House cocaine

The White House on July 4, 2023. Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

The U.S. Secret Service will provide a briefing to Congress on the discovery of cocaine at the White House, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Republican lawmakers have argued the incident raises broader concerns about security at the White House complex.

  • The news of the briefing being scheduled was first reported by Spectrum News.

Driving the news: The briefing will be at the staff level and will take place at 10am Thursday ET, according to two GOP aides familiar with the plan.

  • A Secret Service spokesperson did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Context: Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) wrote to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle last week requesting a briefing by July 14.

  • He said the "presence of illegal drugs in the White House" raised concerns about "the level of security maintained at the White House."
  • Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also questioned Cheatle about the cocaine, pressing her for information on where it was found and whether the Secret Service had plans to "correct any security flaws."

What we're watching: The Secret Service's investigation into the matter is expected to conclude this week, whether or not a suspect is identified, CNN reported.

  • The discovery of the cocaine on July 2 prompted a partial evacuation of the White House campus.
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has said the cocaine was found in a "heavily traveled area" of the White House – reportedly an entrance to the West Wing.
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