Jan. 6 Panel Releases Video of Congressman's Jan. 5 Tour

Capitol Police have said Barry Loudermilk's group tour day before riot wasn't suspicious
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2022 11:43 AM CDT
Jan. 6 Panel Releases Video of Congressman's Jan. 5 Tour
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Georgia.   (AP Photo/Ron Harris, File)

The Jan. 6 panel did not conduct a hearing on Wednesday, but it still made headlines by releasing video of a tour of Capitol office buildings that GOP Rep. Barry Loudermilk gave to constituents the day before the riot. In its tweet, the panel suggested the tour is alarming because "individuals on the tour photographed/recorded areas not typically of interest to tourists: hallways, staircases and security checkpoints." And it says one member of the tour in particular marched to the Capitol the next day while making violent threats to Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats, reports the Hill. However, release of the video comes one day after Capitol Police cleared Georgia's Loudermilk of anything fishy in regard to the tour, reports CNBC.

“We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious," Police Chief J. Thomas Manger wrote to the House Administration Committee. Police pointed out that while Loudermilk's group toured House office buildings, it never entered the Capitol itself or the tunnels leading to it from the buildings. The background here: In the aftermath of the riot, Democrats raised allegations that some members of Congress gave "reconnaissance" tours of the Capitol complex to protesters, notes Politico. Last month, the Jan. 6 panel subpoenaed Loudermilk to testify about his Jan. 5 tour, but he has declined to appear.

"The select committee has already accused me of giving reconnaissance tours, which has been verified as false," Loudermilk said in a statement to CNN before the video's release. "To my knowledge, no one that visited my office on January 5 was involved in any illegal activity on January 6; so if the committee has evidence, they should release it, not just make accusations." The panel released the video after that statement. It says one man on the tour is seen filming hallways and stairs and such in the complex, which tourists typically have no interest in. The video identifies this man as the same one marching to the Capitol the following day while spouting threats.

“There’s no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler," he says in the video. "We’re coming for you. We’re coming in like white on rice, for Pelosi, Nadler, Schumer, even you AOC, we’re coming to take you out, and pull you out by your hairs." The panel still wants to hear from Loudermilk directly about the tour, though it's unclear if that will happen. Meanwhile, the conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, citing the Capitol Police investigation, thinks the panel owes Loudermilk an apology because it "smeared" his name with the recon suggestion. (Read more Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

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