Island tour

Police: Republican visit to Capitol complex not suspicious

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FILE – Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Georgia, listens to a speaker during a press conference, May 4, 2021, in Marietta, Georgia. Attack #6 was simply to show off his constituents and was not suspicious. Loudermilk’s tour had caught the attention of the Congressional panel investigating the insurrection. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, File)

PA

Police determined there was nothing suspicious about a tour of two Capitol office buildings that a House Republican gave to about 15 people the day before Jan. 6, 2021, when supporters of the riots in the Then-President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol.

The House committee investigating the 2021 uprising examined whether rioters had been involved in reconnaissance and surveillance before the attack, and Democrats have suggested some Republican members may have helped them. But there has been no public evidence of this.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia, was simply showing off his constituents, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, in a letter sent Monday.

Manger’s letter to Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, came weeks after the House committee investigating the insurrection asked Loudermilk for more information about the tour than he did. he said he carried out the day before the attack.

Police reviewed surveillance video showing Loudermilk leading a tour of about 15 people at the Rayburn and Cannon House office buildings, Manger said.

The Republicans on the House Administration Committee — of which Loudermilk is a member — previously said they reviewed Jan. 5 security footage and said there were “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats”.

But Reps. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, chair and vice chair of the separate Jan. 6 committee, said last month that their review of the evidence “directly contradicts that denial.”

Loudermilk said the Jan. 5 tour was with a constituent family and took place in the House office buildings and not inside the Capitol building. He and Davis had called Capitol Police in May to release surveillance video.

The Capitol complex includes 20 buildings and facilities, including House and Senate offices. Underground tunnels connect most buildings to the Capitol.

“At no time did the group appear in any tunnels that would have taken them to the US Capitol,” Manger wrote in the letter.

Jan. 6 panel member Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-California, said Tuesday the panel would still like to hear testimony from Loudermilk and would like to show the video referenced by Davis’ letter to let the public decide.

“What the Republicans said last year was wrong – that there were no tours, no MAGA hats – it was patently wrong.”

Capitol Police said the tour was thoroughly examined and there was nothing suspicious about it.

“There is no evidence that Rep. Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” Manger said. “We train our officers to be alert to people carrying out surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not regard any activity we observe as suspicious.”

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Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.