FOIA Request DENIED IN FULL: DC’s Emergency Response Unit Withholds All Regarding White House Cocaine Incident

by J Pelkey
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The emergency response division of the District of Columbia has declined, in full, a request for records that sought information about their handling of the cocaine found in the White House last month.

On Friday, the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (EMS) made public their decision to withhold 19 pages of documents that were requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This request was submitted by Jason Leopold.

Leopold’s request included the following:

  1. A copy of the request and/or radio call for a Hazmat team by US Secret Service to respond to a white powdery substance found at the White House.
  2. A copy of the final report of the Hazmat team’s testing of the white powder that was determined to be cocaine found at the West Wing of the White House.
  3. Photographs of the substance, should any exist.
  4. Emails referencing the cocaine/white powdery substance found at the White House.
  5. Final incident reports/after-action reports referencing the white powdery substance determined to be cocaine that was found at the White House. (Date Range for Record Search: From 07/03/2023 To 07/05/2023)

In the response letter addressing the FOIA request, Christina Dalton, who holds the position of Information and Privacy Officer for D.C. Fire and EMS, stated that the request was being denied based on two particular statutes.

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The first statute cited apparently restricts the divulgence of “investigative techniques and procedures not generally known outside of the government.”

The second statute cited by D.C. Fire and EMS raises additional questions. They asserted that the retention of the 19 pages was based on containing a “specific vulnerability assessment.” Additionally, they claimed that the non-disclosure of this material is “intended to prevent or to mitigate an act of terrorism.”

  1. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a) (3) (E) – Investigatory Records/ Investigative Techniques” – Investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, including the records of Council investigations and investigations conducted by the Office of Police Complaints, but only to the extent that the production of such records would disclose investigative techniques and procedures not generally known outside of the government.
  2. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a) (10) – “Emergency Response Plan” – Any specific response plan, including any District of Columbia response plan, as that term is defined in § 7-2301(1), and any specific vulnerability assessment, either of which is intended to prevent or to mitigate an act of terrorism, as that term is defined in § 22-3152

As reported by multiple news outlets, a bag of cocaine was found in the West Wing of the White House last month. Recent reports suggest that it might have belonged to someone closely associated with the Biden family. According to the New York Post, Joe Biden may know the identity of that person.

A report featured in Soldier of Fortune, authored by publisher Susan Katz Keating, referenced information obtained from three security sources.

“All three sources independently told Soldier of Fortune the same name, which arose from an investigation into the incident. The sources currently work for a U.S. government agency, and are not authorized to speak to the media,” Keating wrote.

According to Keating’s sources, despite the Secret Service formally ending the investigation due to a “lack of physical evidence,” they reportedly did manage to identify a suspect. This individual was allegedly then brought to the attention of Joe Biden.

One of the sources told Keating, “If you want the name, ask Joe Biden. He knows who it is.” Another source clarified that the individual in question was not Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, stating, “It was someone within the Biden family orbit, and it wasn’t Hunter.”

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