(The Center Square) — A U.S. Senator is seeking answers after cocaine was found in the West Wing of the White House on Sunday.
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., sent a letter to U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle requesting that she release information about the cocaine. He also requested Cheatle provide the Secret Service’s procedures for keeping the White House complex secure.
“I urge you to release that information quickly, as the American people deserve to know whether illicit drugs were found in an area where confidential information is exchanged,” Cotton wrote. “If the White House complex is not secure, Congress needs to know the details, as well as your plan to correct any security flaws.”
Cotton also requested a complete list of people who have access to the White House complex without passing through any security screening, a list of people who have access subject to lesser security screening requirements and “a description of the circumstances under which the Secret Service chooses not to use K-9 screening for West Wing visitors,” according to the letter.
Cotton further requested how often the Secret Service has found illegal drugs at the White House in the last five years, how often such drugs were detected during security screenings and how often drugs were found inside secure areas.
Cotton said he wanted answers by 5 p.m. July 14.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre largely referred questions about the cocaine to the U.S. Secret Service, which is investigating the matter.
The Secret Service confirmed Wednesday that the white powder found in the West Wing on Sunday was cocaine.
The Secret Service continues to investigate how the illegal drug got there.
The cocaine was found during a routine search, according to a Secret Service spokesperson.
The White House was temporarily closed on Sunday evening after agents discovered the white powder inside a work area. The building was temporarily closed to allow law enforcement to investigate.
President Joe Biden was not at the White House at the time. He left with his wife for Camp David, the president’s country residence in Maryland, on Friday.
Cocaine, a central nervous system stimulant, is illegal in the United States.