Police investigated ‘unlawful entry’ onto property of Biden’s national security aide

Daleep Singh, deputy director of the National Economic Council, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Feb. 22. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Oliver Contreras

WASHINGTON – Law enforcement officials have been investigating an incident in which someone accessed the property of a top White House official working on U.S. sanctions against Russia, according to a police report and people familiar with the matter.

A man was seen on the property owned by President Joe Biden’s deputy national security adviser, Daleep Singh, about 1 p.m. on Feb. 26, then fled the scene in a “blue/teal” older model BMW sedan, according to a D.C. police department public incident report.

The police report, which described the incident as an “unlawful entry,” did not specify whether the man entered the house, located in an upscale Northwest Washington neighborhood about five miles from the White House. Singh told police that the man “unlawfully entered the front yard” of his property and that he did not know the man, the report states.

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The incident came days after the national security official became a public face of the Biden administration’s sanctions against Russia, which have escalated in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Singh joined White House press secretary Jen Psaki before briefing room cameras to explain the administration’s increasingly muscular stance toward Moscow on Feb. 22 and 24.

There was no immediate evidence of a link between Singh’s work in the administration and the alleged incident. Singh was not home at the time, according to a person familiar with the incident who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the details.

“No one in law enforcement has indicated to the property owners that this has anything to do with their jobs,” this person said. “As far as we know, this could just be a neighborhood creep who was on their front lawn.”

But some officials have raised concerns internally about the incident, particularly given that it took place so soon after Singh became such a prominent figure in the rollout of U.S. sanctions, according to one government official familiar with internal deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

The White House declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the Secret Service, which has participated in the investigation.

The D.C. police report said the incident occurred at 1:08 p.m. on Feb. 26 and ended at 1:18. Officers on the scene a short time later told a neighbor that they were “investigating a potential break-in,” according to two neighbors. Neighbors said that some who live in nearby homes were later approached by Secret Service agents seeking security camera footage.

The D.C. police investigation and search for the fleeing man appears to have stalled. On March 8, the D.C. police report said, investigators temporarily suspended their investigation for lack of any leads on likely suspects.

Singh was not a widely known White House official until the past few weeks. Before joining the White House, he worked as the head of the markets team at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at the Treasury Department during the Obama administration.

“Because of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s choices, his flagrant violation of international law, and his utter disregard for the principles that underpin peace and security across the world, we will now ensure his decision is remembered as a strategic failure,” Singh said during his public appearance on Feb. 24.

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