U.S. Capitol Police discovered the bomb at 12:45 p.m. before the violence began at the Capitol. Shortly after, authorities found another device at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.
The findings “resulted in the evacuation of two congressional buildings, the Cannon House Office Building, as well as one of the Library of Congress buildings,” Steven Sund, former U.S. Capitol Police chief, explained to senators on Tuesday through a joint hearing. Media outlets have been touting, along with impeachment testimony and social media posts by AOC and her colleagues, that the breach was the reason for the evacuation - and yet the investigation is proving otherwise. This is just another example of the pitfalls when people rush to judgement for the sake of political points.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) asked whether it was right to say the discovery of the pipe bombs caused the evacuations.
“That is correct, sir,” Sund answered.
Capitol Police directed the response to the bomb discovered at the Republican committee headquarters, while the Metropolitan Police Department headed the response to the other bomb, the ex-chief, who quit last month, added. “It took extensive resources,” he stated.
Soon after the bombs were discovered, a mob breached the Capitol, making it all the way to the entry of the House chamber and inside the Senate chamber.
Members of Congress had been in a joint session to count electoral votes though went to their respective chambers following an objection to some of the votes being lodged, before the evacuation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is still trying to identify the person or persons responsible for the pipe bombs. A reward of up to $100,000 is being proposed for information leading to the location, arrest, and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
The bombs were fixed on the evening of Jan. 5, officials explained. Surveillance footage showed an individual wearing a face mask, a grey hooded sweatshirt, and Nike shoes in yellow, black, and gray walking and carrying a backpack in their hand.
The bombs were “real devices” with “explosive igniters” and “timers,” acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told reporters last month.
Officials were investigating to find why they didn’t explode.
“That is obviously being vetted and investigated. What was the purpose of those devices being planted? Was it a diversionary type of a tactic used by some of these rioters? Or did it have some other type of nefarious purpose? So that is what the [investigators] are looking at as we speak right now, and looking for those persons that planted those devices,” he said.
Although they did not go off, their discovery 90 minutes before rioters stormed the Capitol pulled dozens of police away from their normal posts.