Most of the attention yesterday went to President Joe Biden’s speech attacking Donald Trump for sending his goons to derail democracy, but we also learned an extremely important detail about Vice President Kamala Harris: she was inside the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters when a live bomb was found.
Harris, still a U.S. Senator while she was veep-elect, said at the top of her own speech on Thursday that she was in the Capitol for a briefing from the Senate Intelligence Committee hours before the violence started, but rolled out before the first Trump extremists entered the building. Unfortunately, her schedule took her from the frying pan and into a possible fire.
Capitol Police began investigating the pipe bomb at 1:07 p.m., according to an official Capitol Police timeline of events obtained by POLITICO. The timeline says that Capitol Police and the Secret Service evacuated an unnamed “protectee” at approximately 1:14 p.m, seven minutes later. The four people, among them a White House official and a former law enforcement official, confirmed that Harris was the Secret Service protectee identified in the timeline, which has circulated on Capitol Hill.
Harris’ presence inside the building while a bomb was right outside raises sobering questions about her security that day. It also raises the chilling prospect that the riots could have been far more destructive than they already were, with the incoming vice president’s life directly endangered. Federal law enforcement officials have faced harsh criticism for failing to anticipate the chaotic scene around the Electoral College certification one year ago, despite receiving a host of warnings about possible chaos.
The DNC bomb threat was neutralized at 4:36 p.m., according to the timeline. Another pipe bomb discovered at the RNC was neutralized at 3:33 p.m. No suspects have been arrested so far in relation to the bombs.
The FBI has described both bombs as “viable” and said they “could have been detonated, resulting in serious injury or death.” Authorities say both bombs were placed by a single suspect the night before the Capitol attack.
We need more answers. Authorities knew Trump’s mob posed a grave threat long before a riot started, so why wouldn’t Harris have been stashed away someplace secure instead of being taken to a building generally open to the public?
How could a pipe bomb have been left outside the HQ of either political party–let alone both–without beind detected?
And how’s it possible that a year later, no suspect has been identified even though Washington, D.C., should have been the most secure and surveilled city on earth on Jan. 6, 2021?
So far, nobody’s answered those questions, at least not publicly. Somebody needs to.