WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House was briefly evacuated Sunday night while President Joe Biden was at Camp David after the Secret Service discovered suspicious powder in a common area of the West Wing and a preliminary test found the substance to be cocaine acted, two law enforcement agencies said officials Tuesday.
Secret Service agents were making routine rounds on Sunday when they found the white powder in an area accessible to tour groups rather than a specific office in the West Wing, officials said. Officials were not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The complex was evacuated around 8:45 p.m. Sunday when fire and rescue workers were called in to conduct a rapid test that tentatively identified cocaine. The White House soon reopened and the powder was sent for further examination.
Biden and his family departed for Camp David on Friday and returned to the White House on Tuesday.
The Secret Service said in a statement that the White House had been closed as a precaution while emergency responders were investigating the matter and that the District of Columbia Fire Department had been called in to evaluate the substance and determine that it was not dangerous.
“The item has been sent for further investigation and an investigation into the cause and manner of getting into the White House is pending,” the Secret Service said.