Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton demanded answers from the Secret Service Wednesday after cocaine was confirmed to have been found in the West Wing of the White House.
In a letter to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle, Cotton urged her to release information on where the illegal substance was found and whether it was discovered in an area where confidential information is exchanged.
“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 wrote Wednesday.
Congress and the American people deserve to know how cocaine got into the White House. pic.twitter.com/Fps9AJ6hSQ
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) July 5, 2023
The Secret Service confirmed the white substance found in the West Wing Sunday was cocaine after initially clearing the building fearing it was anthrax. Staff members within the White House are required to disclose narcotic or psychotropic drug use and are prohibited from using them.
Family, friends and acquaintances of White House employees are often granted special tours that are not normally part of the those open to the general public. (RELATED: Cocaine Found At White House After Hunter Biden Visited)
“Who has access to the White House complex without passing through any security screening?” Cotton asked Cheatle, requesting a list of all such individuals.
“Who has access to the White House complex while subject to lesser security screening requirements than the most complete screening required of individuals accessing the West Wing?” Cotton continued.
Cotton further requested the Secret Service disclose how often, in the past five years, the agency has encountered illicit drugs within the confines of the White House and if they were ever found in secure areas.
In closing, Cotton reminded Cheatle that under Section 3056A of Title 18, U.S. Code, the Secret Service Uniformed Division has the authority to “make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony.”
Since illegally possessing cocaine is a crime under federal law, Cotton pressed Cheatle as to whether the Secret Service would arrest the individual responsible once their identity is discovered.
Cotton has given Cheatle until 5 p.m. on July 14 to respond.