Kamala Harris Was Evacuated Minutes After a Pipe Bomb Was Found During Jan. 6 Riots

A White House official confirms that the vice president was in the Democratic National Committee building at the same time the bomb was found beneath a park bench outside

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The deadly chaos that ensued on Jan. 6, 2021, still raises questions a year later, particularly as it relates to two pipe bombs discovered outside both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee headquarters that day.

But a new report by Politico shows that the situation could have been even worse, as then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was inside the DNC building when the bomb there was discovered.

Politico, citing an official Capitol Police timeline of that day and four people familiar with Harris' movements, reported Thursday that the pipe bomb placed under a park bench outside the DNC was found at 1:07 p.m.

Seven minutes later, at 1:14 p.m., Capitol Police and the Secret Service evacuated an unnamed "protectee" whom sources told the outlet was Harris.

The outlet reported that the Capitol Police timeline shows that the DNC bomb threat was neutralized at 4:36 p.m. that day, with the RNC bomb threat neutralized at 3:33 p.m.

A White House official confirmed to PEOPLE that Harris, now 57, was at the DNC that day at the same time and was ultimately evacuated. Harris hasn't publicly addressed the new details about her being evacuated.

The FBI has been seeking the public's help in identifying the person responsible for the Jan. 6 pipe bombs, sharing security footage of the masked and hooded individual on the one-year anniversary of the event.

The person or persons responsible for the bombs have not been found.

The agency is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the person's identification, and said Thursday, the one-year anniversary: "Both devices were viable and could have been detonated, resulting in serious injury or death."

The news that Harris was inside the building as a pipe bomb lay outside raises questions regarding her security that day, as Politico noted.

Already the security measures taken by law enforcement prior to the riot have been much-maligned.

A 127-page joint report released by Senate committees last June found that federal intelligence agencies failed to adequately warn law enforcement officials about the potential for violence in the lead-up to the riots, which were preceded by a Donald Trump-helmed rally near the White House.

The Washington Post reported that an FBI memo dated Jan. 5, 2021, warned that those traveling to the area for the rally had talked online about "war" and pressuring lawmakers to overturn Trump's election loss, but that document never went to law enforcement officials.

Speaking at the Capitol on Thursday, Harris marked the one-year anniversary of the insurrection by a group of Trump supporters by adding Jan. 6, 2021, to a list of historic "dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory," including Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and Sept. 11, 2001, when New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked and a plane commandeered by terrorists crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

"On Jan. 6, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful," she said, "the lawlessness, the violence, the chaos."

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