The bipartisan House committee investigating the events that led up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack announced Thursday that it is turning its attention to Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), indicating it has new evidence that he led a Capitol tour the day before the deadly insurrection.
“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 details 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 tours were suspended at the time of Loudermilk’s apparent tour, due to COVID-19 precautions.
“We write to seek your voluntary cooperation in advancing our investigation,” the committee leaders wrote to Loudermilk.
Here’s a copy of their letter:
In a damning added detail, Thompson and Cheney suggest that Republicans on the House Administration Committee ― of which Loudermilk is a member ― misled or lied to the Jan. 6 committee when they previously claimed that they reviewed Capitol security footage from the days preceding the Jan. 6 attack and concluded there were no tours, no large groups and no one “with MAGA hats on” in the Capitol during that time.
“The Select Committee’s review of evidence directly contradicts that denial,” said Thompson and Cheney.
The committee leaders asked Loudermilk to meet with them to talk about the Capitol tour he gave that day. They proposed the week of May 23 but made it clear they’re willing to meet him wherever possible.
“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 said. “The American people deserve a full and accurate accounting of what happened.”
Loudermilk later issued a joint statement with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), ranking 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 said. “The family never entered the Capitol building.”
Loudermilk and Davis accused the Jan. 6 committee of “pushing a verifiably false narrative” about Republican lawmakers leading “reconnaissance tours” of the Capitol with Trump rally supporters just before the insurrection.
“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 said.
A Loudermilk spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on whether the congressman would meet with the Jan. 6 committee.