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By Sarah May on
 October 16, 2022

Secret Service agents encounter 'powdery substance' near White House

In an alarming development in the nation's capital this week, two U.S. Secret Service agents ended up in the hospital after they were exposed to a mysterious chemical described as a "powdery substance" after initiating a traffic stop near the White House, as Fox News reports.

According to the outlet, the incident took place on D.C.'s New York Avenue at roughly 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, and the Washington Examiner further noted that it prompted a response from multiple law enforcement officers.

Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi confirmed the basic facts of what happened on Twitter, adding that the substance with which officers came into contact was "believed to be narcotics," that one person had been taken into custody, and that individuals involved on the scene were "being evaluated."

Fox News noted that Nicole Sganga of CBS News subsequently reported that the substance at issue turned out to be horse tranquilizer, though no confirmation of that insight was provided by the Secret Service itself.

As the Examiner noted separately, the mystery substance was not the only potentially alarming development of the sort in Washington on Tuesday, with an unusual parcel having also been spotted near the office of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the House Select Committee probing the events of Jan. 6.

Though the package was eventually determined not to pose any type of threat to the congressman or to anyone else, the Rayburn House Office Building was temporarily evacuated by the U.S. Capitol police while the investigation ensued and before the all-clear was given.

Upon concluding their check of the package, Capitol Police released a statement declaring, "This afternoon Congressional staff inside the Rayburn House Office Building reported that they received a letter with concerning language. We just screened it and determined it not to have anything dangerous inside. Powder was not found inside."

Authorities may have been on especially high alert in this instance, according to the Examiner, given the fact that the Jan. 6 committee was slated to hold yet another public hearing Thursday, which was predicted to be the final such proceeding of the highly controversial group ahead of the November midterms.

True to hyperbolic form, the panel on Thursday took the theatrical – and almost certainly futile – step of voting in lockstep to subpoena former President Donald Trump, as NBC News reported, in what could be the embarrassing last gasp of a committee whose power is likely to evaporate if, as is widely expected, Republicans succeed in their quest to retake the House.

Written By:
Sarah May

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