Politics

'No evidence' GOP Rep. Loudermilk gave reconnaissance tours before Jan. 6: Capitol Police

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(WASHINGTON) — There is no evidence that GOP Rep. Barry Loudermilk gave “reconnaissance” tours before the Jan. 6 attack, the U.S. Capitol Police Chief said in a letter to the House Administration Committee released Tuesday.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol had requested information from Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican, suggesting in a May letter that he may be linked to a tour through parts of the Capitol on the day before the attack.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told Rep. Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican and the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee on Monday that no such tours were conducted and that Loudermilk, was giving a tour to constituents.

A Jan. 6 committee aide declined to comment.

“As I’ve said since the Jan. 6 Committee made their baseless accusation about me to the media, I never gave a tour of the Capitol on Jan 5, 2021 and a small group visiting their congressman is in no way a suspicious activity,” Rep. Loudermilk said in a tweet. “Now the Capitol Police have confirmed this fact.”

Rep. Mickie Sherill, a New Jersey Democrat, alleged in a January 2021 letter that she witnessed tours being conducted the day before Jan. 6.

“The tours being conducted on Tuesday, January 5, were a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place in March of 2020 that limited the number of visitors to the Capitol,” Sherill wrote. “These tours were so concerning they were reported to the Sargent (sic) at Arms on January 5.”

Manger’s letter says that the group of 15 people entered the Rayburn House Office building and was met by a Loudermilk staffer and then went to the congressman’s office and then to the Cannon House Office Building basement.

“At no time did the group appear in any tunnels that would have led them to the U.S. Capitol. In addition, the tunnels leading to the U.S. Capitol were posted with USCP officers and admittance to the U.S. Capitol without a Member of Congress was not permitted on January 5, 2021,” the letter said.

Manger says officers are trained to see anything suspicious and what Loudermilk’s staff did was not.

“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” he writes. “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.”

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