On Wednesday, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas sent a letter to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle demanding more information about the investigation into the baggie of cocaine discovered in the White House.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that a uniformed Secret Service officer discovered cocaine during a routine search of the White House over the weekend.
At the time, it was unclear where the cocaine was found or how it was packaged.
By Wednesday, administration officials were claiming that the cocaine was discovered near the West Wing lobby in a public area widely traveled by visitors taking a tour of the White House.
In the first White House press briefing after the July 4 holiday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say at which White House entrance the cocaine was found, referring questions to the Secret Service.
But on Thursday, NBC News reported that officials involved in the inquiry said the baggie of cocaine was not found in the West Wing lobby, but near the West Executive entrance between the lower-level lobby and foyer, one level beneath the main West Wing offices in the same area as the Situation Room.
Investigators continue forensic work on the baggie, however, officials suggest that they may never be able to determine who left the cocaine.
In a Twitter thread Thursday evening, Utah Senator Mike Lee disputed the claim that the Secret Service won’t be able to figure out how the cocaine got there, arguing that this area of the White House is “heavily secured” and “constantly surveilled.”
Lee also notes that this particular entrance is only used by White House staff and those with “preapproved appointments to the West Wing,” and everyone must go through a multi-layered security screening to enter.
According to Senator Lee, the entrance is completely covered by surveillance cameras and every visitor who entered must empty their pockets during screening, making it unlikely that the Secret Service would miss a baggie of cocaine.
In his letter, Senator Cotton told Director Cheatle that if the White House complex is not secure, she must detail for Congress the steps that will be taken to correct the problem.