On Sunday, the U.S. Secret Service took immediate action, closing off the White House premises and nearby roads. Concerns arose when an unidentified item was discovered on the White House complex, prompting the involvement of a hazmat team and the D.C. Fire and EMS.
According to a spokesperson from the U.S. Secret Service, "Uniform Division Officers of the U.S. Secret Service came across an unfamiliar object within the White House grounds." As a precautionary measure, the White House area was evacuated, and the Hazmat team from the DC Fire Department was called in.
A transmission captured by openmhz.com, a platform offering live and archived radio transmissions from various emergency services, recorded a D.C. fire official mentioning "cocaine hydrochloride" with a yellow label.
The Washington Post has verified that this transmission, time-stamped at 8:49 p.m., originated from the White House on Sunday night.
During a routine patrol of the West Wing around 6 p.m. on Sunday, a Secret Service agent in uniform discovered the substance. President Biden and his family were not present at the White House, as they were at Camp David. Response workers swiftly assessed the situation, resulting in a temporary closure of sections of the White House grounds to determine the potential hazards of the substance.
Later in the evening, a hazmat team conducted a test on the substance, revealing that it was cocaine hydrochloride. This information was relayed through a dispatch sent at 8:49 p.m. and documented by a website that collects radio communications from relevant agencies.
An anonymous source familiar with the investigation shared that the conversation regarding the substance's test occurred between the District of Columbia Fire Department's hazmat team and other officials within the department.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, stated that the substance was discovered in a "work area of the West Wing" and clarified that the report suggesting it was found in a White House library was inaccurate.
Mr. Guglielmi confirmed that the item had been sent for further evaluation, and an investigation is underway to determine how it entered the White House.
Vito Maggiolo, a spokesperson for the District of Columbia Fire Department, declined to verify the details mentioned in the transmissions but acknowledged their involvement in assisting the Secret Service with their investigation.
On Tuesday morning, President Biden returned to the White House accompanied by several family members.