Tom Cotton, a Republican Arkansas Senator, demanded Wednesday answers from the Secret Service after it was confirmed that cocaine had been found in the West Wing.
Cotton wrote to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to urge her to provide information about the location of where this illegal substance was discovered and if it was in an area that exchanges confidential information.
Cotton wrote that Congress needed to know “if the White House complex was not secure” as well as the plan to fix any security flaws.
After initially removing the building, the Secret Service confirmed that the substance white found in the West Wing on Sunday was cocaine. They had originally feared it was anthrax. The White House requires staff to disclose any narcotics or psychotropic drugs they use. They are also prohibited from using these substances.
Often, the White House offers special tours for the family members, friends, and acquaintances who work there. These aren’t normally open to the public.
Cotton demanded a list from Cheatle of those who had access to the White House without going through security screening.
Cotton asked, “Who is allowed to enter the White House complex with less stringent security requirements than those who are permitted to access the West Wing?”
Cotton also requested that the Secret Service reveal how many times, over the last five years, they have encountered illicit drugs in the White House, and whether or not any were found in secure areas.
Cotton concluded by reminding Cheatle that, under Section 3056A, Title 18, U.S. Code the Secret Service Uniformed Division is authorized to “make arrests, without a warrant, for any offense committed against the United States in their presence or for any felony cognizable according to the laws of the United States, if they believe, with reasonable grounds, that the person being arrested has committed, or is committing, such felony.”
Cotton asked Cheatle if the Secret Service would arrest an individual who was found to be in possession of cocaine illegally.
Cotton has given Cheatle a deadline of 5 p.m. July 14, to respond.