3rd Pipe Bomb Camera Deliberately Turned Away From Scene

3rd Pipe Bomb Camera Deliberately Turned Away From Scene
(Illustration by The Epoch Times, U.S. Capitol Police/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
February 27, 2024
March 05, 2024

WASHINGTON—A third U.S. Capitol Police security camera was turned away from the Democratic National Committee headquarters during the police response to the pipe bomb found near a bench outside the building on Jan. 6, 2021, The Epoch Times has learned.

Security video obtained by The Epoch Times from Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) shows that Camera 8021, which was recording the operations of a bomb robot, suddenly panned away from the scene just before 2:21 p.m.

The change in camera view happened 10 minutes before the Capitol Police unmanned ground vehicle fired a water cannon to disrupt the pipe bomb for the second time in 20 minutes.

After pointing up for a short time, Camera 8021 panned left to show D Street, then zoomed in various directions until settling on a nondescript parking lot for the rest of the day.

Camera 8021—located high on the Fairchild Building—is the third Capitol Police camera discovered to have been deliberately turned away from the unfolding pipe bomb drama during crucial operations of the bomb squad.

Mr. Loudermilk, whose Committee on House Administration’s subcommittee on oversight is investigating the Jan. 6 pipe bombs, said he was concerned by the discovery.

“These revelations are extremely troubling and raise even more important questions about the DNC/RNC pipe bomb investigation,” Mr. Loudermilk told The Epoch Times. “We will continue to rigorously seek answers. The American people deserve full transparency in this critical matter.”

Two pipe bombs were discovered near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6: one in an alley between the Capitol Hill Club and the Republican National Committee building, and the other in the bushes on the southwest side of the DNC building.

Despite a three-year federal investigation and an offer of $500,000 in reward money, no arrests have been made.

Two Other Cameras Moved

As The Epoch Times previously reported, Camera 3173—located directly across the street from where the pipe bomb was found at 1:05 p.m.—turned away from the DNC building at 1:29 p.m., before the bomb squad arrived.

Camera 8020—also located on the Fairchild Building—was filming the assemblage of the bomb squad on E Street Southeast when it, too, was directed away at 1:44 p.m. to focus on some distant railroad tracks and a highway overpass for the next 2 1/2 hours.

The Camera 8020 switch came just as the bomb robot turned up Canal Street Southeast headed for the DNC.

Security cameras were controlled and monitored from the Capitol Police Command Center on the seventh floor of police headquarters on D Street Northeast.

An official familiar with police command operations said directing cameras away from a developing crime scene in such a manner is “very, very odd.”

“You absolutely would be having the camera operators training the cameras and scanning to see if anything else was going on down around the DNC,” the official said. “And you’re not seeing that. You’re seeing what looks like a deliberate move of the cameras to not record anything associated with the pipe bomb.”

Capitol Police camera 4502—mounted on the nearby Capitol power plant—did capture parts of the initial aftermath of the bomb discovery and some of the bomb-robot operations.

The latest development on the DNC pipe bomb only adds to a growing list of questions about the crime scene, how the event was handled, and whether the pipe bomb was really a “viable” device, as claimed by the FBI.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) disclosed in late January that the DNC pipe bomb was discovered by a plainclothes Capitol Police officer at 1:05 p.m. on Jan. 6, confirming a report first published on Jan. 17 by Blaze Media. The Epoch Times has independently confirmed the report.

Camera 3173 was in a fixed position aimed at the DNC building’s garage, so the officer’s discovery of the nearby pipe bomb isn’t shown on that camera’s video. None of the other Capitol Police cameras that cover the area around the DNC was trained on the building before the bomb discovery, so there is no CCTV video evidence showing how the officer first encountered the bomb.

When the officer walked the short distance from the bomb to a driveway where Secret Service and Metropolitan Police Department sport-utility vehicles sat, the agents inside took more than two minutes to finish their lunch before emerging to investigate, Mr. Massie said.

Former FBI special agent Kyle Seraphin, who worked surveillance in the Jan. 6 pipe bombs case, said his team was told by an FBI briefing agent that the bombs weren’t real.

“‘Looked very bomb-like,’” Mr. Seraphin said on the Jan. 25 episode of his podcast. “Those are the actual words that I remember: ‘Looked very bomb-like.’”
Discovery of the DNC bomb was announced on Capitol Police dispatch at 1:07 p.m., according to audio obtained by The Epoch Times.

Officer 987-Adam: “I’m going to declare a 10-100 at the DNC as well, similar device as was found at the RNC as well. Advising the units on scene what’s going on.”

Dispatch: “All right, where do you have your device?”

987-Adam: “At the DNC.”

Dispatch: “OK, but where at in the DNC, sir?”

987-Adam: “Right at the corner of Canal, the uni-block of Canal Street and Washington Avenue. Right near the…”

987-Adam: “Did you copy my last? I broke up.”

Unknown Officer: “Sir, I need you to advise, do we have the same device at the DNC?”

Dispatch: “A-firm, sir. It’s going to be in the corner of Canal Street and Washington Avenue in the bushes. 987-A Adam has seen it.”

A short time later, all radio communication related to the DNC pipe bomb was moved to what was announced over the air as Channel 3. Audio from that channel hasn’t been publicly released.

It isn’t clear why former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund wasn’t notified by his command staff about the DNC bomb until 1:49 p.m., 42 minutes after his dispatcher took the bomb report from an officer on the scene. Mr. Sund was in the Command Center at the time, working to get approval for the National Guard to be dispatched to the Capitol to quell the violence that broke out during protests.

Capitol Police officials haven’t commented on the recent questions raised about the pipe bombs. Multiple requests by The Epoch Times for comment have gone unanswered.

What appears to be a bomb-sniffing dog searches the area at the Democratic National Committee offices where a pipe bomb would be found 3 1/2 hours later on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Capitol Police/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Security video footage released on Feb. 13 by columnist Julie Kelly shows, just before 9:29 a.m., what appears to be a bomb-sniffing dog at work along the DNC driveway and the side building entrance a few feet from where the pipe bomb would be discovered 3 1/2 hours later.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris—who was inside the DNC building—was not evacuated by the Secret Service for nearly 11 minutes after the bomb discovery.

Video shows that the vehicles in her motorcade emerged from the garage starting at 1:13:40 p.m., then drove around to the front entrance to pick up Ms. Harris. The motorcade departed from the front of the building at 1:16 p.m.

Secret Service agents and police officers milled about the southwest side of the DNC building near the bomb instead of immediately withdrawing to a safe perimeter out of the blast zone, security video showed.

The motorcade of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris pulls out of the Democratic National Committee garage just before 1:14 p.m. (U.S. Capitol Police/Graphic by The Epoch Times)

One uniformed police officer walked within 10 feet of the bomb and snapped a photo of it with his phone, security video showed. A group of what appeared to be teenagers walked past the bomb site after crossing South Capitol Street.

Several commuter trains on the way to and from Union Station rumbled over a railroad trestle directly next to the DNC building while the pipe bomb was in place, security video revealed.

The initial nonchalant demeanor of Secret Service agents is hard to reconcile with the fact that what the FBI considers a weapon of mass destruction was sitting within dozens of feet of the incoming vice president, Mr. Massie said during a recent podcast appearance.

‘That’s Just Stupidity’

A police official familiar with explosives ordnance disposal agreed with that assessment.

“If a pipe bomb goes off, shrapnel from that pipe bomb travels, it’s going to travel at about anywhere from 18,000 to 23,000 feet per second,” the official told The Epoch Times. “There’s nothing you can do.

“By the time you hear the boom, the shrapnel is going to be hitting you. That’s just stupidity. Unless, for some reason, they had no reason to be concerned.”

Capitol Police security video reviewed by The Epoch Times shows a bomb “total containment vehicle” towed by a black pickup truck traveling in a police caravan north on Washington Avenue Southwest at 2:23 p.m. The pickup and trailer turned east on D Street at 2:24 p.m.

The orb-like, steel-reinforced tank on a containment vehicle safely holds an explosive device while it’s being moved to a remote location where it can be examined and undergo a “make-safe” operation. If the bomb detonates at any point, the tank vents the air pressure while containing the debris.