Administration

Harris was at DNC when a pipe bomb was found outside building on Jan. 6

Vice President Kamala Harris gives remarks in Statuary Hall of the U.S Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, January 6, 2022 to mark the year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol.
Greg Nash

Vice President Harris was at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters on Jan. 6, 2021, until she was evacuated because a pipe bomb was discovered outside the premises, a White House official confirmed to The Hill on Thursday.

The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department confirmed on Jan. 7, one day after the violent riot at the Capitol, that authorities recovered and removed a pipe bomb from the DNC headquarters. Another was recovered and removed from the Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters.

The DNC headquarters was evacuated following the discovery.

Capitol Police started looking into the report of the pipe bomb at 1:07 p.m. Eastern time, according to an official department timeline of events obtained by Politico. Seven minutes later, at roughly 1:14 p.m. Eastern time, an unnamed “protectee’ was reportedly evacuated by Secret Service.

Four people, including a White House official and a former law enforcement official, told Politico that the unnamed protectee was Harris, then the vice president-elect who would be inaugurated two weeks later. The bomb threat was eventually neutralized at 4:36 p.m. Eastern time, according to the Capitol Police timeline.

Harris at times used the DNC headquarters to complete nongovernment work when she was the Democratic nominee for vice president and later utilized the space before her inauguration, according to Politico, a practice that is reportedly typical for elected officials on both sides of the political aisle.

Capitol Police referred The Hill to the Secret Service when reached for comment on security questions regarding the vice president. The Hill reached out to the DNC, Secret Service and Capitol Police for more information.

Harris in remarks delivered from Statutory Hall on Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the attack. 

“On that day, I was not only vice president-elect, I was also a United States senator. I was here at the Capitol that morning, at a classified hearing with fellow members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Hours later, the gates of the Capitol were breached,” the vice president said.  

“I had left. But my thoughts immediately turned not only to my colleagues, but to my staff, who had been forced to seek refuge in our office, converting filing cabinets into barricades,” she added.

She later returned to the chamber once the rioters were cleared from the building for the certification of the election results.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office on Thursday, one year after the pipe bombs were discovered, said the devices found at the DNC and RNC “were viable and could have been detonated, resulting in serious injury or death.”

The person responsible for placing the pipe bombs remains unknown. The FBI said it is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information that leads to the location, arrest and conviction of the person, or people, behind the bombs.

The FBI released video in September of a person who is suspected of planting the pipe bombs. The suspect was seen wearing a face mask, glasses, a gray hooded sweatshirt, gloves and black and light gray Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes with a yellow logo, according to the FBI. The individual reportedly used a backpack to transport the devices.

Tags DNC Jan. 6 anniversary
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