New report exposes a major security lapse in protection detail of Indian American leader
Then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spent nearly two hours close to a pipe bomb during the Jan 6, 2021 Capitol riot in a major security lapse, according to a media report.
The Indian American leader drove within several yards of a pipe bomb lying next to a bench outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters that day, CNN reported Monday citing multiple law enforcement officials.
She remained inside the DNC for nearly two hours before the bomb was discovered, it said claiming details of the incident have not been previously reported.
Harris pulled into DNC headquarters in Washington at around 11:30 a.m. ET with her motorcade through the garage leading to the parking deck near where law enforcement discovered the pipe bomb, CNN said unnamed multiple sources.
Read: Kamala Harris, Indian American lawmakers recall horrors of Jan 6 (January 7, 2022)
According to an internal US Capitol Police timeline cited by CNN, an unnamed “protectee” was removed from the DNC building at approximately 1:14 p.m. ET — seven minutes after Capitol Police began investigating the bomb.
CNN reported earlier in January that the person was Harris. The Capitol Police timeline did not specify when Harris arrived at the building.
The US Secret Service, which was responsible for Harris’ protection that day, swept the interior of the building, the driveway, parking deck and entrances and exits prior to her arrival, it said citing a law enforcement source. Harris was evacuated using an alternate route away from the bomb, the source was cited as saying.
“The fact that Harris was so close to potential danger for that period of time raises additional questions about the security measures in place to protect her,” CNN said.
“In order to maintain operational security, the Secret Service does not discuss protective means and methods,” a Secret Service spokesman told CNN in a statement.
The White House declined to comment. The vice president’s office referred CNN to the Secret Service.
On Jan 6, officers from several law enforcement agencies responded to the scene at the DNC and the Republican National Committee buildings, which are less than a quarter mile apart and just blocks south of the Capitol.
The bombs were discovered around 12:45 and 1:07 p.m. ET, respectively, around the same time angry pro-Trump supporters descended on the Capitol, CNN said.
Both devices were rigged to egg timers and contained an explosive powder. Though neither detonated, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has made clear the bombs were viable, according to CNN.
The bombs were safely neutralized at the scene by robots. The DNC bomb threat was cleared at 4:36 p.m. ET, according to the timeline cited by CNN.
No one has been charged with planting the bombs, and the FBI continues to search for a suspect whom they have identified in multiple videos released in the last year, the channel reported.