The bipartisan House committee investigating the occasions that led as much as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault introduced Thursday that it’s turning its consideration to Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), indicating it has new proof that he led a Capitol tour the day earlier than the lethal rebel.
“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,” reads a letter to Loudermilk from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chairman, and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair.
The committee leaders say new particulars about Loudermilk’s tour that day come after public reporting and witness accounts of Trump rally supporters “engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the U.S. Capitol, as well as the House and Senate office buildings, in advance of January 6, 2021.”
Capitol excursions have been suspended on the time of Loudermilk’s obvious tour, as a result of COVID-19 precautions.
“We write to seek your voluntary cooperation in advancing our investigation,” the committee leaders wrote to Loudermilk.
Here’s a replica of their letter:
In a damning added element, Thompson and Cheney recommend that Republicans on the House Administration Committee ― of which Loudermilk is a member ― misled or lied to the Jan. 6 committee after they beforehand claimed that they reviewed Capitol safety footage from the times previous the Jan. 6 assault and concluded there have been no excursions, no giant teams and nobody “with MAGA hats on” within the Capitol throughout that point.
“The Select Committee’s review of evidence directly contradicts that denial,” mentioned Thompson and Cheney.
The committee leaders requested Loudermilk to satisfy with them to speak concerning the Capitol tour he gave that day. They proposed the week of May 23 however made it clear they’re prepared to satisfy him wherever doable.
“If you are unavailable that week, we can arrange an alternative time to meet. If it would be preferable to hold this meeting with you in your home district, we would also be glad to explore travel arrangements to facilitate that option,” they mentioned. “The American people deserve a full and accurate accounting of what happened.”
Loudermilk later issued a joint assertion with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), rating member of the House Administration Committee, refuting the Jan. 6 committee’s claims.
“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,’” they mentioned. “The family never entered the Capitol building.”
Loudermilk and Davis accused the Jan. 6 committee of “pushing a verifiably false narrative” about Republican lawmakers main “reconnaissance tours” of the Capitol with Trump rally supporters simply earlier than the rebel.
“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,” they mentioned.
A Loudermilk spokesman didn’t reply to a request for touch upon whether or not the congressman would meet with the Jan. 6 committee.