Capitol Police Diverted All CCTV Cameras Away From DNC Pipe Bomb Investigation — Except One

Among the most enduring unsolved mysteries surrounding the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, are the pipe bombs planted outside the offices of the Republican and Democratic National Committees.

In January, Blaze News revealed that the individual who discovered the device outside the DNC offices and was described by the FBI as a “passerby” was, in fact, a plainclothes U.S. Capitol Police officer.

Now, after reviewing hours of closed-circuit TV video footage, Blaze News can report that two of three U.S. Capitol Police surveillance cameras pointed at the DNC office building were redirected away from the scene shortly after the device was discovered. As part of our investigation, I requested and received access to this footage from Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) and his staff. Blaze News will reveal more information soon about what the entirety of the video reveals.

The DNC pipe bomb case is of special interest because Kamala Harris was in the building when the device was discovered. Harris, a former U.S. senator from California, was vice-president-elect and under Secret Service protection at the time.

More than three years later, federal investigators have not uncovered the origin of the alleged pipe bombs. The FBI has not identified a suspect in either the RNC or DNC pipe bomb incidents, and a $500,000 reward remains in effect for information leading to the arrest of the would-be bomber.

‘Like pulling teeth’

In the videos, Secret Service agents and officers from the D.C. Metro Police and U.S. Capitol Police departments appear unusually lackadaisical under the circumstances.

A few hours after the Blaze News exclusive appeared, Darren Beattie of Revolver News published his own story about the DNC pipe bomb. His compelling analysis was based largely on the seven-minute video posted on YouTube six months earlier by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).

The two stories generated a firestorm of media questions and speculation about how passively Secret Service agents responded to the bomb’s discovery by the USCP officer. With Harris inside the DNC offices, why did those Secret Service agents and MPD officers finish their lunch before exiting their SUV? Why did they allow schoolchildren to pass within feet of a suspected bomb instead of cordoning off the area immediately? Why did the Secret Service wait more than 10 minutes before evacuating Harris from the building?

More importantly, why has the public been allowed to see only seven minutes of video of what might be the most critical incident on January 6, 2021, given that the vice-president-elect was mere feet away from an alleged explosive device? This includes previously unseen images of the complete response by the attending agencies from multiple camera angles, the on-scene investigation, and ultimately, the bomb squad’s detonation of what the FBI continues to insist was a “viable” device capable of causing severe injury or death.

In a recent appearance on BlazeTV’s “Pat Gray Unleashed,” Massie said the seven-minute pipe bomb video is “some of the only J6 video that’s actually made it out … contrary to a bunch of promises.”

“It was like pulling teeth to get the first seven minutes of the discovery of this bomb,” Massie told Gray. “I do think we should release the video of the attempted detonation of the bomb.”

Although House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has said, he has the last word on the release of all video footage from January 6, multiple congressional and Capitol Police sources confirm to Blaze News that the Capitol Police Board has prevented the DNC pipe bomb footage and other essential videos from coming out until now.

The three-member board consists of House Sergeant-at-Arms William McFarland, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Karen H. Gibson, and acting Capitol Architect Chere Rexroat.

Until all the January 6 video is released to the public, a host of media companies and independent journalists will continue to review the video trove in a viewing room at a congressional office building in Washington, D.C. This includes the Epoch Times, Revolver News, and “Declassified with Julie Kelly.”

Protocols were violated

Releasing the footage would help shed additional light on how the Secret Service and the police responded to the threat, how the MPD bomb squad handled the device, and whether the alleged pipe bomb was, in fact, as dangerous as the FBI has characterized it. A former FBI agent disputes the claim.

After the first pipe bomb was discovered near the Republican National Committee headquarters on First Street, the USCP officers and bomb squad reportedly handled the scene “by the book,” immediately cordoning off the area to establish a safe perimeter.

Those same protocols were not initiated promptly by the Secret Service and other agencies at the scene of the DNC bomb site.

Apart from pedestrians continuing to walk past the scene — mere feet away from the bomb — a train trestle is located some 50 feet from where the bomb was discovered. Those trains continued to pass by every few minutes. No one with any agency seemed concerned enough about the bomb to halt the train service along those tracks.

From discussions with several current and former agents and police officers with experience responding to bombs and suspicious packages, Blaze News has learned this was an egregious violation of established protocols.

The cameras turn

A review of USCP radio transmissions confirms that the DNC bomb was reported to the USCP command center just after 1:07 p.m.

Less than four minutes after the plainclothes USCP officer notified the Secret Service of the suspected bomb, camera number 3173 — the same camera from which Massie released the seven-minute video — began to pan and zoom in on the position of the device. This is a clear indication that the USCP command center had been notified of the bomb’s existence and someone had taken control of the camera.

Blaze News reviewed and confirmed that camera 3173 had remained in a fixed position — pointed at the DNC parking garage entrance — at least back to December 28, 2020, before its remote-control pan and zoom operation began at 1:09:04 p.m. on January 6.

Camera 3173 was the most crucial camera focused on the scene, having the closest and clearest view of law enforcement’s response, investigation, and ultimate detonation of the bomb by an MPD bomb squad robot.

Inexplicably, just after 1:40 p.m., camera 3173 was remotely directed away from the scene at roughly a 90-degree angle and remained in that newly fixed position for the rest of the day, at least until midnight on January 6.

But Joe Hanneman, an investigative reporter with the Epoch Times, discovered a second camera with a bird’s eye view of the scene before the bomb squad’s attempted detonation of the device. Once again, at 1:44 p.m., that camera was also deliberately turned away from the investigation scene, panning south and left zoomed in on railroad tracks and a highway overpass. This position — looking away from the bomb scene — is where it remained until well after the incident’s investigation and the bomb’s destruction.

Both cameras had been turned away from the investigative scene before 1:45 p.m. We have embedded this never-before-seen footage from both cameras into this article below.

A command decision and an oversight

Senior sources within USCP ranks with intimate knowledge of their command center’s layout and operations have informed Blaze News that the cameras would only have been directed away from such a critical investigation on the orders of “command-level” officials.

On the afternoon of January 6, the only senior commanders present who could have given such an order in the command center area known as “the Pit” were Chief Steven Sund; Sean Gallagher, who was acting chief of uniformed operations; and Yogananda Pittman, assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations.

Pittman, at the time, also oversaw the Capitol’s Security Services Bureau, which is the division of USCP that controls the Capitol’s CCTV cameras.

Sund, who resigned the day after January 6, recounted the day’s events in his 2023 memoir, “Courage Under Fire.” He states twice in the book he wasn’t notified of the DNC pipe bomb until 1:49 p.m., 44 minutes after its discovery and four minutes after the two most critical cameras were directed away from the investigation scene.

Sund, in both his book and his congressional testimonies, has said he was busy seeking assistance from the National Guard and other law enforcement agencies to help defend the Capitol, which may explain why he was unaware of the bomb until later. Still, it’s unclear why he wasn’t informed of the pipe bomb discovery right away.

The camera the Capitol Hill police forgot

In mid-December, I received a tip from a senior congressional aide to pay particular attention to the footage from cameras that were directed at the DNC headquarters before, during, and after the discovery of the pipe bomb on the afternoon of January 6.

Fortunately for those of us investigating the DNC bomb scene, someone in the USCP command center apparently forgot about the directional position of a third camera, which provided an overhead view of the bomb squad’s effort to destroy the pipe bomb. Blaze News has requested this footage, and as we receive it, we will release it to the public.

The video, which I watched six weeks ago, shows that just after 2 p.m., on the far-left edge of that camera’s frame, an MPD bomb squad robot began moving along the sidewalk to retrieve the pipe bomb. After picking up the bomb, the robot clumsily moved the device and deposited it against the street curb rather than into a bomb blast containment bin.

Moments later, the device can be seen breaking apart.

Without absolute certainty, experts with knowledge of bomb disposal technologies explained to Blaze News that the robot most likely hit the device with a “bomb disposal water disruptor” — a type of water cannon. The Department of Homeland Security explains the water disruptor “breaks apart IEDs by targeting a stream of high-velocity liquid, such as water. It does not detonate the device, but rather disarms it from a distance …”

When the bomb squad robot deployed the disruptor, there was no explosion. The pipe bomb disintegrated into pieces. Minutes later, one bomb squad officer in a protective suit can be seen entering the far-left edge of the camera’s aspect to investigate the destroyed pipe bomb’s remnants.

‘Viable’ or not?

According to a report by the Washington Times, former FBI Special Agent Kyle Seraphin explained that during his investigation, he discovered that both pipe bomb devices were inoperable and presented no threat. This is despite the FBI’s continued public assertion that the devices were “viable.”

In an exclusive interview with Blaze News, Seraphin elaborated that the bureau is telling the public one story and its agents another story.

“The FBI has spent a significant amount of time telling the public that we had, quote-unquote, ‘viable devices,’ when they were briefing the surveillance team that was following a person of interest that these were not potentially explosive devices that were a danger to the federal agents who were following him,” he said.

Seraphin told Blaze News that other members of his team corroborated the same information that had been given to the investigating agents.

“It’s an officer safety issue, and the way that you handle a potential bomber is different than a subject who was known to drop inoperable bombs,” Seraphin said. “You’re going to work a case differently if they’re not real; you can get closer. That was part of the very basic operational order of how you do the job, which is something I did every day for thousands of hours a year.”

Seraphin also rebutted the June 7, 2023, testimony of FBI assistant director in charge Steven D’Antuono, who told the House Judiciary Committee, “People like Kyle Seraphin and others that are not a case agent, have no knowledge of the case, have no knowledge of what happened in the case.”

“That’s objectively false,” Seraphin said. “It’s referred to as a ‘case brief,’ and it is the standard for anybody who is doing surveillance and is serious about working as an asset to the case agent … our eyes are tuned to what the case agent is looking for.”

“Steve D’Antuono is completely wrong,” Seraphin added. “He obviously never worked on that surveillance unit. He was too busy being a manager and not working cases.”

“It’s illogical on every level” that D’Antuono didn’t know what was happening in that case, Seraphin explained. “Either he was being briefed on it better than we were, or he’s a liar. He’s either incompetent, or he’s deliberately being obtuse in front of Congress.”

As for why the Secret Service and MPD officers were slow to act, Seraphin attributed their reaction to stress and training.

“When people experience a moment of high stress, generally speaking, they have what is called a ‘sympathetic nervous response,’ which I know as a paramedic and from my time in the military. They have three possible outcomes: fight, flight, or freeze. The single most common is freeze,” Seraphin said. “What we saw from that police officer looked more like a training scenario, and when the scenario happens, you take it a kind of slow speed. They approach things at an overly casual rate because they know it’s not real.”

This may well explain the Secret Service, MPD, and USCP’s casual behavior and failure to immediately establish a safe perimeter and implement other known protocols after learning of the pipe bomb’s discovery.

But, Seraphin added, the seemingly casual response didn’t make sense “when you have a high-value protectee inside the building.”

“Those are questions that still need to be answered,” he said.

Seraphin explained that only two possible explanations existed for those two cameras being ordered away from an active investigation: “When you have a sensitive technique that’s about to be executed” using new or classified technologies. “And the second possibility is nefarious.”

Given that the bomb disposal water disruptor technology is widely known and taught, as well as explicitly described on the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the first possibility appears unlikely.

That leaves the second possibility. Any obstruction from Congress or law enforcement agencies in releasing the video of the DNC pipe bomb’s destruction raises further questions.

“There’s no upside to not characterizing a scene — even if it’s just for training value, later,” Seraphin said. “There’s no good reason that you’d not want to see video cameras that you control logging what happened.”

“If the [disarmament] technique is not classified, then you are losing something that is documenting information and timelines. The upside of having footage of your crime scene vastly outweighs the sensitivity of a well-known technique,” he added.

Blaze News will be publishing more analysis and releasing more footage as it is received from Congress.

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