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The search for who brought cocaine into the White House will be expansive and includes a wide range of possible suspects, including staffers or even journalists, a law enforcement veteran explained Wednesday.
CNN analyst John Miller, an author and former New York Police Department official, spoke with CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who asked him to share his insights based on white powder — that tested positive for cocaine — allegedly being found in a West Wing guest lobby on Sunday evening and what he has heard from the White House.
Miller said “no” to Tapper’s question about whether the presumption within the Secret Service, which is conducting an investigation, is that a tourist is at fault.
“That’s a possibility because people who come through — the tours go through there,” Miller added. “But that area is … you’ve been through that entrance, I’ve been through that entrance … there’s the canopy right there, it comes in off the street, and then you go in there — there’s a bunch of cubbies where you put your phones if you’re going to one of those restricted areas where you can’t carry a phone — like the Situation Room or somewhere else — where people can put other belongings.”
Noting that the cocaine was found “right by where those cubbies are,” Miller said the culprit “could be a staffer. That could be a member of the press who was there for a specific interview with someone on that side of the West Wing.”
Miller expounded on various investigative steps, including looking at surveillance footage, reading visitor logs, and sending the powder to Fort Detrick, where the U.S. Army has a biosecurity laboratory in Maryland.
“What they’re going to do is look at the video,” Miller said. “What does the video tell you? Was it Friday? Was it Saturday? Was it there before and just unnoticed? They’ll look at the logs. Ok, who signed in? Who were they going to see?”
“But there’s more than that,” he added. “The powder has been sent to Fort Detrick for a second round of testing to see — ok it tested positive for cocaine. Is there anything else in it that could be hazardous or weaponized? The container it came in, which is about the size of a postage stamp, like a dime-bag ziplock, they’ll be looking to see if they can extract a print from that or DNA.”
Miller concluded: “So they’re going to go through a lot of motions before they are at the stage where they’re going to need to interview people.”