WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House was briefly evacuated Sunday night while President Joe Biden was at Camp David after the Secret Service discovered suspicious gunpowder in a common area of the West Wing, and a preliminary test was conducted. the substance was shown to be cocaine, two law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.
Secret Service agents were making routine rounds Sunday when they found the white powder in an area accessible to tour groups, not a particular West Wing office, officials said. Officials were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The complex was evacuated around 8.45pm on Sunday as fire and emergency crews were brought in to carry out a rapid test, which preliminary identified the cocaine. The White House was quickly reopened and the powder was sent for further testing.
Biden and his family left for Camp David on Friday and returned to the White House on Tuesday.
The Secret Service said in a statement that the White House was closed as a precaution while emergency crews investigated and District of Columbia firefighters were called in to assess and determine the substance was not dangerous. .
“The item has been sent for further evaluation and an investigation into the cause and manner of his entry into the White House is ongoing,” the Secret Service said.