VP Security Concerns Arise as Harris Was at DNC When Bomb Was Found Outside on 6 Jan - Reports
00:56 GMT 07.01.2022 (Updated: 07:28 GMT 07.01.2022)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Vice President Kamala Harris was inside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) building on 6 January 2021, when a pipe bomb was discovered outside, Politico said in a report, citing four people familiar with her movements on that day.
Harris was evacuated from the DNC building approximately seven minutes after US Capitol Police began investigating the possible pipe bomb that was described as "viable" by the FBI, the sources said on Thursday. Another pipe bomb was discovered outside of the Republican National Committee (RNC) building that day.
According to an official Capitol Police timeline cited by Politico, the police began probing the bomb at 1:07 p.m., and at approximately 1:14 p.m., an unnamed “protectee” was evacuated from the building. Sources confirmed to the newspaper that Harris was that "protectee".
In March, the FBI released a video of the suspect that planted the pipe bombs at the DNC and RNC buildings and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to identifying the individual.
According to Politico, Harris' presence at the DNC on 6 January has raised questions about her security
on that day amid the riot at the US Capitol. Federal law enforcement has been criticised for failing to anticipate
the events of 6 January.
This is the first time that Harris’ DNC evacuation amid a bomb scare has been reported, as the vice president's aides previously refused to reveal her location during the Capitol riot, citing security reasons.
On Thursday, Kamala Harris declined to answer questions about being evacuated when asked by reporters at the White House. In her remarks marking one year since the Capitol storming, the US vice president said she had been inside the Capitol in the morning of 6 January 2021 for a classified Senate Intelligence Committee briefing before leaving.
"On that day, I was not only vice president-elect, I was also a United States senator. And 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. 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 said.
The person who planted pipe bombs outside the RNC and DNC headquarters hours before the violence began around the Capitol building still remains unidentified and unaccounted for. The bombs were discovered before they were detonated.
In remarks on Thursday, US President Joe Biden praised
the law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol building on 6 January and pledged to protect the nation from further "attacks" on democracy.