A small amount of a white powdery substance was found in the White House on Sunday evening, according to a person familiar with the episode, and an initial test by emergency response workers determined it was cocaine.
President Biden and his family were away at Camp David when a uniformed Secret Service agent found the substance during a West Wing patrol around 6 p.m. Sunday, the person said, prompting a brief shutdown of some of the White House campus as corresponding workers. assessed whether the substance is dangerous.
Later that evening, a test of the substance by hazard crew officials yielded a result: “We have a yellow bar that says cocaine hydrochloride,” an official said in one. shipment sent at 8:49 p.m. and registered by a website that collects the radio communications of the agency.
A person familiar with the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation, said the radio transmission discussing the test of the substance was placed between the District of Columbia Fire Department’s emergency response team and other officials within the department.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said the substance was found in a “work area of the West Wing” and that another dispatch that said the substance was found in a White House library was incorrect.
In a statement, Mr. Guglielmi said “the item has been sent for further evaluation and an investigation into the reason and manner in which it entered the White House is pending.”
He did not confirm or dispute the initial finding that the powder was cocaine.
Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for the District of Columbia Fire Department, declined to confirm the contents of any of the shipments, but said department officials “were asked to assist the Secret Service as they conducted an investigation.”
On Tuesday morning, Mr. Biden returned to the White House with several of his family members.