The DNC bomb threat was neutralized at 4:36 p.m., according to the timeline. Another homemade bomb discovered at the RNC was neutralized at 3:33 p.m. No suspect has yet been arrested in connection with the bombs.
the The FBI described both bombs as “viable” and said they “could have exploded, causing serious injury or death”. Authorities say the two bombs were planted by a single suspect the night before the Capitol attack. The RNC bomb was placed in an alley behind the building, and the DNC bomb was placed near a park bench. The FBI recently issued another appeal for help to search for the alleged suicide bomber, who was filmed near the DNC and RNC buildings.
Harris’ evacuation from the DNC on January 6, as authorities rushed to respond to the bomb threat, has not been previously reported. She occasionally used the party headquarters to conduct non-governmental affairs as a running mate and later before the January 20, 2021 nomination – a common practice for elected officials from both parties. Aides had previously refused to reveal his location during the attack, citing security concerns.
Harris hinted at her absence from the Capitol during the breach as she gave televised remarks Thursday, though she was enigmatic about her location.
“I was gone, but my thoughts immediately turned not only to my colleagues, but to my staff who had been forced to take refuge in our office, turning filing cabinets into barricades,” she said.
The discovery of the homemade bombs was a crucial factor in the chaos on January 6. Law enforcement officials say it sidetracked large numbers of already outnumbered officers as a crowd of Donald Trump supporters pushed through the barriers on Capitol Hill and prepared to force their way inside. More than 140 officers have been injured in the chaos and more than 725 members of the mob have been arrested in the past year, facing charges ranging from assault on police to conspiracy to obstruct Congress and illegally parading on Capitol grounds.
Before Thursday’s birthday, Harris had said little about his movements during the siege. In reports shortly after, she described being at the Capitol complex for a morning intelligence briefing and then leaving for something previously planned. She did not return to Capitol Hill until after the riot had ended and the joint session of Congress resumed.
Uncertainty over Harris’ fate as a crowd entered the Capitol briefly surfaced in a handful of criminal cases related to the January 6 insurgency. In dozens of indictments, the Justice Department had mistakenly described Harris as being inside the Capitol during the attack and only recently discovered the error. The DOJ has since issued numerous alternative indictments to correct the error.
Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.