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Jan. 6 panel wants to ask Rep. Barry Loudermilk about tour it claims he led one day before Capitol riot

Cheney, Thompson say evidence 'directly contradicts' GOP denials of pre-attack tours

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in April.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection on Thursday asked Rep. Barry Loudermilk to voluntarily cooperate with the inquiry about a tour it says the Georgia Republican led in the Capitol complex the day before the attack.

“We write to seek your voluntary cooperation in advancing our investigation. Based on our review of evidence in the Select Committee’s possession, we believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021,” Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., wrote to Loudermilk.

The letter states that public reporting and witness accounts indicate some people and groups tried to obtain information about the layout of the Capitol — and the office buildings of the House and Senate — in advance of Jan. 6.

In the week following the riot, members requested law enforcement officials in charge of Capitol security to investigate sightings of “outside groups in the complex” on Jan. 5 that “appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House” the next day, Thompson and Cheney said.

It was during that rally at the Ellipse that then-President Donald Trump implored his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”

Republicans on the House Administration Committee, on which Loudermilk serves, claimed they reviewed security footage from the days before the Capitol attack and determined there “were no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on.”

Cheney and Thompson said that the committee’s “review of evidence directly contradicts that denial.”

Several other House Republicans have been subpoenaed or asked to voluntarily cooperate by the Jan. 6 panel. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Reps. Scott Perry, R-Pa., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Mo Brooks, R-Ala., all have received subpoenas from the select committee. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, who was the former White House physician under Trump, has been asked to cooperate but has not been subpoenaed.

House Administration ranking Republican Rep. Rodney Davis and Loudermilk said in a joint statement late Thursday afternoon that Loudermilk did not lead a tour through the Capitol on Jan. 5, 2021. Instead, Loudermilk met with a constituent family in the House office buildings, they contend.

Loudermilk and Davis also called on the Capitol Police to release the video footage in question.

“A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour.’ The family never entered the Capitol building,” Loudermilk and Davis said.

“The 1/6 political circus released the letter to the press before even notifying Mr. Loudermilk, who has still not received a copy. The Select Committee is once again pushing a verifiably false narrative that Republicans conducted ‘reconnaissance tours’ on January 5th,” the two Republicans said. “The facts speak for themselves; no place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th.”

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