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Covering Kamala Harris Covering Kamala Harris

Official says Kamala Harris was evacuated on Jan. 6 after pipe bomb was found outside DNC

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in her office
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an interview in her Washington office in 2021.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Kamala Harris, then the vice president-elect, was evacuated from the Democratic National Committee headquarters when a pipe bomb was found Jan. 6, 2021, a White House official said Thursday.

The confirmation a year to the day after the bomb was discovered adds another detail to Harris’ timeline from the day of the Capitol insurrection and further evidence that its dangers reached the highest levels of the government.

Bombs were placed near the Democratic and Republican headquarters on Capitol Hill on the night of Jan. 5, a crime that the FBI has not yet solved. Politico first reported Harris’ proximity to the DNC bomb and her evacuation at 1:14 p.m. on Jan. 6.

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Harris, then a California senator, previously told The Times she had been at the Capitol earlier that day for a Senate Intelligence Committee meeting but was working elsewhere during the breach of the Capitol.

“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,” Harris said during her address from the Capitol on Thursday, marking the anniversary of the insurrection.

She watched many of the day’s events from a secure location on television, she said, texting with colleagues who promised to return to certify the election results in defiance of those trying to upend the election. Harris, in her role as senator, returned with them.

“It was horrific, horrific,” Harris said in an interview with The Times last year. “And each day after, we are learning more and more about the deep and very dark layers of what went into that day.”

In a recorded interview with “PBS NewsHour” on Thursday, Harris condemned Republican lawmakers for downplaying the threat.

She hailed Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming who serves on the House Jan. 6 committee, for not being afraid to take on powerful elements in her own party.

Cheney has been pilloried by former President Trump for voting for his impeachment, calling out his repeated lies about election fraud and helping lead the congressional investigation into the insurrection.

“These are moments where we must speak truth, and I applaud her courage,” Harris said.

“In the midst of, you know, a number of her colleagues who have failed to show such courage or those who have shown courage and sadly are not seeking reelection or have not sought reelection.”


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