Congressional Republicans fumed at the Secret Service ending the White House drug probe without a culprit, and questioned what it means for security in the White House and transparency in the Biden administration.
Republicans on the Hill weren’t happy with the Secret Service’s investigation into the cocaine found at the White House over the Independence Day weekend, with Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., telling Fox News Digital he was ‘disgusted’ that the briefing was classified after ‘they told us in the meeting that it was not classified.’
‘They should have transparency and immediately had alerted the press to that,’ Burchett said. ‘They should have been telling the press instead of a bunch of congressmen so that they would piecemeal it all together out to the press.’
Burchett said he ‘felt sorry’ for the Secret Service agents and that ‘they’re professional people, and they’re just put in a bad position by this administration.’
The Tennessee Republican said the Secret Service told lawmakers there is ‘no video of the area’ where the cocaine was found and called it ‘100% suspicious.’
‘You’ve got the press secretary of the president of the United States, she’s telling us where it was found. And then, of course, it wasn’t found there,’ Burchett said. ‘[It’s] like the bag of cocaine got legs, apparently. And, you know, it’s just ridiculous. The whole thing is ridiculous.’
‘To think that the most secure building in the world, dude,’ Burchett said. ‘I mean, when I was mayor of Knox County, if somebody walked into one of our buildings, we had cameras.’
Burchett said that if he were to call the Knox County Police Department to D.C., they would ‘do circles’ around the Secret Service.
‘This is ridiculous. This is beyond the pale,’ Burchett said. ‘This is indicative of a White house that is out of control and that has no leadership and is rudderless.’
‘This trash can needs to be cleaned out with a garden hose immediately,’ he added.
Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News Digital it ‘is ridiculous that the Secret Service wants us to believe that, even with the FBI’s help, they can’t identify a suspect who brought cocaine into the most secure building in the world.’
‘Why would you close the investigation in less than a week if you wanted to know who did it?’ Austin added.
Ohio Rep. Bob Latta, a Republican, told Fox News Digital that the ‘West Wing of the White House should be one of the most secure government offices in the nation.’
‘The fact cocaine was found on the premises raises major security concerns, and it is unacceptable the Secret Service is now abandoning their investigation without even ID’ing a suspect,’ Latta continued.
Texas GOP Rep. Troy Nehls, a former sheriff, told Fox News Digital said that President Biden’s son Hunter’s history with drug abuse should have made the Secret Service consider him ‘a person of interest.’
‘With Hunter Biden’s past documented behavior and use of the exact same substance, one could believe that he would be at least considered a person of interest,’ Nehls said. ‘Americans deserve answers about how cocaine was found in one of the most secure buildings in the world.’
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rebuked reporters last week for asking whether the cocaine was related to any Biden family members, saying the question was ‘incredibly irresponsible.’
Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions told Fox News Digital he is ‘deeply unsettled by the Secret Service closing their investigation without identifying the culprit.’
‘A lack of surveillance footage in a ‘heavily trafficked’ area near the West Executive entrance is unacceptable,’ Sessions said. ‘This incident isn’t just about an illegal substance found in the White House; it’s a grave testament to the lacking accountability and disregard for security under the Biden administration.’
‘It is critical that the White House reassess and strengthen our security measures to prevent this scenario from occurring again, and that every individual within the White House is held to the highest standards of conduct and responsibility,’ he added.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters on Thursday that it seems to him that ‘Biden Inc. strikes again.’
‘How can in the White House — 24/7 security — they find cocaine, but now they just closed the investigation?’ McCarthy asked. ‘Where in the country do you get treated like this? Only with the Bidens, with the Bidens in charge. There is no equal justice.’
The speaker said he wants ‘to see an answer to the question like every other American’ on how there was ‘cocaine sitting in a cubbyhole just by the Situation Room.’
‘First of all, we never got the right news. We found it in different places, different places, different places. . . . Anything involving around Biden Inc. gets treated differently than any other American, and that’s got to stop.’
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., told Fox News Digital that, during the briefing, she had inquired about specific security measures in place for the lockers where the cocaine had been found. Boebert said the Secret Service had admitted that the key to the locker in question ‘is missing.’
‘There are 182 lockers in that foyer and currently … locker number 50 where the cocaine was found, that key is missing,’ Boebert said. ‘There were more than 500 people who went through the West Wing during the weekend of when this substance was found, when the cocaine was found in the White House, and none of those people who have come through are classified as suspects.’
‘We do not know how many were tourists, individual citizens, or staffers, and they currently are not looking any further into those more than 500 people who entered that foyer of the West Wing during that weekend,’ she said. ‘Instead, they are quickly wanting to close this investigation and move on to the next Biden crime crisis.’
Boebert also told Fox News that she learned that ‘there are no logs of the lockers. There’s no video surveillance of the lockers.’
‘The only thing that the Secret Service did was conduct background searches for past drug use or conviction of the over 500 individuals that came through that weekend,’ Boebert said. ‘They did not go further back in time, nor did their investigation produce any results to flag an individual person.’
She added, ‘I believe that every staffer who went into the White House that weekend … should be drug tested.’
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., defended the Secret Service, saying that testing hundreds of potential suspects for drugs would be ‘a massively disproportionate and overblown response that would violate people’s civil liberties.’
‘I mean, if there were small amounts of marijuana or cocaine found somewhere in the Capitol Complex, we would not want to drug test everybody who works here,’ he said.
The Secret Service announced Thursday that it has closed its investigation into the cocaine found at the White House earlier this month and said it is ‘not able’ to ‘single out a person of interest’ because of a lack of physical evidence.
In a statement Thursday, after briefing members of Congress on the matter, the Secret Service said the cocaine had been found on July 2 ‘inside a receptacle used to temporarily store electronic and personal devices prior to entering the West Wing.’
The Secret Service said it has been investigating ‘how this item entered the White House,’ including a ‘methodical review of security systems and protocols.’
‘This review included a backwards examination that spanned several days prior to the discovery of the substance and developed an index of several hundred individuals who may have accessed the area where the substance was found,’ the Secret Service said. It said that investigators had developed ‘a pool of known persons for comparison of forensic evidence gleaned from the FBI’s analysis of the substance’s packaging.’
The Secret Service said it had received the FBI’s lab results on Wednesday and that the effort ‘did not develop latent fingerprints and insufficient DNA was present for investigative comparisons.’
‘Therefore, the Secret Service is not able to compare evidence against the known pool of individuals,’ the Secret Service said, adding that the FBl’s evaluation of the substance ‘also confirmed that it was cocaine.’
‘There was no surveillance video footage found that provided investigative leads or any other means for investigators to identify who may have deposited the found substance in this area,’ the Secret Service continued. ‘Without physical evidence, the investigation will not be able to single out a person of interest from the hundreds of individuals who passed through the vestibule where the cocaine was discovered.’
‘At this time, the Secret Service’s investigation is closed due to a lack of physical evidence,’ they said.
The Secret Service briefed members of Congress on the investigation Thursday morning.
Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman and Elizabeth Elkind contributed reporting.