by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The cocaine found in the White House was bagged up right away, but the story has only grown.
Biden administration staff and the Secret Service have mostly downplayed the discovery since it came to widespread public attention on July 4. With the investigation now closed, Republicans at all levels of government demand to know more.
Presidential candidate Nikki Haley cried cover-up, saying she has been to the area where the cocaine was found and that it’s one of the most secure parts of the West Wing.
“I strongly believe this is a cover-up for either Hunter [Biden] or someone very close to the president, and they don’t want to say who it is,” she said.
From the beginning, the White House has emphasized that many people had access to the discovery site while defending against the idea that the cocaine implies lax security standards.
The initial find caused a shutdown of the White House while officials determined what the substance was. Reports first placed the location as a library, but the Secret Service then said it was in a “work area” of the West Wing and subsequently that the cocaine was in an area accessible to both staff and tourists.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan later suggested the stash could have belonged to construction workers renovating the Situation Room, while press secretary Karine Jaen-Pierre scolded a reporter for asking if it belonged to a Biden.
The White House also downplayed the likelihood that the cocaine’s owner would be found. On July 5, less than 72 hours after the discovery, a law enforcement source leaked to Politico that the owner of the drugs would likely never be known. On July 13, the Secret Service concluded its investigation without naming a suspect.