Vice President Kamala Harris was evacuated from the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington on January 6, 2021, minutes after a pipe bomb was discovered nearby.
A former law enforcement official and a White House official confirmed to CNN that the then-vice president-elect was the unnamed “protectee” listed as being removed from the building at approximately 1:14 p.m. ET on January 6, 2021. The evacuation came just seven minutes after Capitol Police began investigating the bomb, according to an internal police timeline obtained by CNN.
News of Harris’ evacuation was first reported by Politico. Harris’ presence at the DNC had been previously unknown.
Harris on Thursday declined to answer questions about being evacuated when asked by reporters at the White House.
In remarks on Thursday marking one year since the insurrection, Harris said she had been inside the Capitol that morning 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,” Harris 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.”
At the time, the Office of the Vice President-elect had declined to comment on Harris’ whereabouts, but an aide told CNN she was “safe,” as violence ravaged the Capitol.
The DNC bomb threat was cleared at 4:36 p.m. ET, according a timeline obtained by CNN.
CNN previously reported the device and a similar one placed at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters had been rigged to egg timers and filled with an explosive powder. The bombs were discovered within minutes of each other around 1 p.m. ET on January 6, 2021, just around the time that a mob of angry supporters of then-President Donald Trump descended on the Capitol after a rally near the White House during which Trump spoke, according to an account the acting chief of the US Capitol Police gave to lawmakers in January 2021 and an FBI poster seeking information on the suspect.
Harris returned to the Capitol after 8 p.m. ET following the insurrection to join the certification of the presidential election.
No one has been charged with planting the bomb and the FBI continues to search for a suspect whom they have identified in multiple videos released in the last year.
The suspect is believed to have planted two pipe bombs near the RNC and DNC headquarters the night before the US Capitol riot.
Information released in September included a virtual map that highlighted the route the suspect walked while placing the two bombs between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on January 5, 2021. Since then, the FBI has been unsuccessful in identifying the individual, despite a $100,000 reward being offered by the agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The video footage released in September shows the suspect sitting on the bench near the DNC, in the area where the pipe bomb was later placed, according to the FBI.
“Reviews of the suspect’s behavior in video footage and interviews with residents in the Capitol Hill neighborhood have led the FBI to believe the suspect is not from the area,” according to a news release from the FBI Washington Field Office.
Previous images and video showed a person carrying a backpack in their hand and wearing a face mask, gray hooded sweatshirt and black and light grey Nike Air Max Speed Turf sneakers with a yellow logo.
This story has been updated with more information.
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