The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now finally acting like it has a vested interested in finding the mysterious suspect who allegedly planted pipe bombs at the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee headquarters at the nation’s capitol ahead of the January 6 riots.
On Wednesday, the FBI released new CCTV video of the suspected bomber. NBC News featured the video in a report.
“They say they don’t know who this person was and that’s why they keep releasing these videos, hoping that somebody will see something that will strike them familiar and they’ll call in a tip,” NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams said. “But let’s go back to the one you were just showing. This is the suspect coming into a park that’s right next to the Democratic national headquarters on Capitol Hill.”
“Now, you don’t see the suspect plant a pipe bomb,” NBC noted. “But it’s in this area, I think just out of the frame here, where the pipe bomb was placed. What you do see is the suspect wearing a hoodie, a face mask, black and white, gray Nike Air Max turf shoes, gloves, carrying a backpack, sits down, takes something out of the backpack that appears to be a cell phone because you see this sort of illumination of the person there, like the light coming from the phone. And then that person just gets up and walks out of the frame.”
“The only thing that’s really, frankly, very helpful about this is to show just where this person was in this area right next to the Democratic national headquarters,” Williams said. “Now, the other video that the FBI put together takes what we have previously seen of surveillance videos of the suspect walking around and creates a map of what the FBI says was this person’s movements on the night of January 5th. They say these two pipe bombs that were placed at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee were placed between 7:30 and 8:30 on the night of January 5th.”
“This is the Capitol Hill Club right across from the House Office Building right near the Republican National Committee.,” Williams went on. “The RNC is on First Street in southeast Washington, the DNC, the Democratic National Committee is on South Capitol in southeast Washington. And so you can trace this person’s movements and where they were seen at different times, and you see in the lower right portion of your screen, Folger Park. That’s what the FBI says they believe the suspect worked out of that area or sort of based there on the night of the 5th.”
“But they say after canvassing this area very extensively, they don’t think this suspect — and by the way, they don’t know if this person is a man or a woman,” the report noted. “They don’t know, they don’t think the suspect is from this Capitol Hill area. And I think that’s one reason why they’re trying to get more attention for these videos.”
“So what they’re hoping is that somebody will look at these videos on their website and see something familiar, maybe it’s what the person is wearing, maybe it’s the way they walk,” the report continued. “Maybe it’s the way they carry that backpack, is there something familiar that would cause them to phone in a tip. These two pipe bombs did not go off. They were placed the night before the Capitol riot. But they weren’t actually discovered until a couple of hours before the riot, and you may remember that it was their discovery that pulled a lot of police away from the Capitol and sort of began to create that kind of confusion that finally erupted with the Capitol riot on the 6th.”
It is interesting that NBC News notes that the bomb threats pulled police away from the Capitol, because it was their discovery that had actually caused Congress to be evacuated to begin with, and not the threat of the riot itself.
“The discovery of a pipe bomb outside the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on Jan. 6 prompted police to evacuate two congressional buildings, not, as was believed, the attack on the U.S. Capitol,” as the Washington Examiner reported in February.
“U.S. Capitol Police learned of the discovery of two pipe bombs on Capitol Hill around the same time, just before 1 p.m. ET that Wednesday,” the report continued. “Capitol Police responded to one bomb discovered by an RNC staff member at the organization’s office, just a few blocks from the Capitol. Metropolitan Police Department officers responded to a second pipe bomb that was spotted outside the nearby Democratic National Committee headquarters. Each department sent officers to respond, hurting the Capitol Police’s ability to secure the Capitol since MPD was called to the Capitol minutes after the bombs were discovered.”
“That resulted in the evacuation of two congressional buildings, the Cannon House Office Building, as well as one of the Library of Congress buildings. So it took extensive resources,” former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified at a Senate hearing.
The fascinating thing about the RNC and DNC pipe bomb attempts is the FBI’s seeming lack of interest in actually apprehending whomever staged them. The FBI sat on this video of the suspect for months before finally releasing it on Wednesday.
FBI Director Christopher Wray was asked about this matter in June. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) first asked Director Wray to verify that no one at the event has been charged with “insurrection.”
“Director Wray, can you confirm that nobody arrested for the involvement in the January 6 riot has been charged with the crime of insurrection?” Gosar asked.
“Sir, I think I said in response to one of your colleagues, sitting here right now, I don’t believe there have been insurrection charges in any of the indictments so far,” Wray said. “But again, with 500 cases, I want to be sure…”
“I believe you’re right or I agree,” Gosar responded.
Gosar continued to press Wray about the FBI’s investigation of Jan. 6 and touched upon the matter of the pipe bomb threats.
“I’m changing gears again, Director Wray, the FBI released several 30-second video clips of a suspected pipe bomber seeking the public’s help to identify him,” Gosar said. “Two of the video clips begin and end with the suspect already in the middle of the frame. You know how long the suspect pipe bomber was there and which way he exited, but you have withheld that information from the public. The FBI is in possession of the full tapes of the pipe bomb suspect and knows far more than the public about potential identifying details. You have begged the public’s help in identifying this pipe bomb suspect. You even offered a $100,000 reward. Why have you not released the full tapes if you truly intend to leverage the public’s help? Will you commit to releasing the full tapes to the public immediately?”
“No, sir, I can’t make that commitment,” Wray said. “I’m very careful about making sure that we protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, and when we share information with the public while asking for their help, it has to be done very thoughtfully with regard to both the solicitation for assistance as well as, again, the protection of the integrity of the ongoing investigation…”
“Well, I appreciate it,” Gosar said. The FBI had posted the following public flier about the suspect in an update on January 11.
In summary, there are still many things we do not know about the Jan. 6 event. We can add to that list why the FBI sat on this innocuous video for so long instead of releasing it right away if it truly wanted to apprehend the Jan. 6 pipe bomb suspect. If the agency really wanted to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6, it would just release the other 14,000 hours of footage that it is currently sitting on.