The controversy over the tour that a Republican lawmaker offered to various people on January 5, 2020, began the week after the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2020, when some House Democrats said that At least one of his Republican colleagues took a tour of the Capitol the day before the riot.
Publicly, they did not mention anyone, but Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia issued a written statement condemning the Democratic allegations.
Congressman Loudermilk’s story evolved over time, as he shared previously undisclosed details after the January 6 committee began asking questions.
In a report by The New York Times earlier this week, Capitol Police appeared to conclude that the Republican lawmaker’s tour was innocuous.
There is still reason to believe otherwise, after NBC News reported on Wednesday: “The January 6 Committee released new footage Wednesday of a man outside the Capitol on January 6 making violent verbal threats against top Democratic lawmakers, who the day before they had been taken on a tour of the House office buildings by Rep. Barry Loudermilk. R-Ga”.
The video, parts of which the committee released Wednesday, appears to show a man taking photos of tunnels, hallways and stairwells inside the Capitol complex during a tour led by Loudermilk. The committee also released images that appear to show the same man marching on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.
The committee has not identified the man, but sources say the committee has interviewed him. The committee has also provided no evidence that the man in the video entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The video includes photos the Jan. 6 committee says were taken by Loudermilk tour attendees, including the exterior of Nadler’s office and what appears to be a directory of Judiciary Committee offices, with the Democratic lawmakers’ photos. ,
“There is no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, we are coming for you,” the man says in the video. “We’re reaching out for Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, even you AOC. We come to get you out and pull your hair. How about that Pelosi? You could also make another appointment. When I’m done with you, you’re going to need a shine on top of that bald head.”
The committee first contacted Loudermilk last month.
The committee also said it reviewed evidence that “directly contradicts” earlier claims by Republican lawmakers that security footage from the days leading up to Jan. 6 shows “no walkthroughs, no large groups, no one wearing MAGA hats.” in the US Capitol complex.
The committee did not explicitly accuse Loudermilk of leading a reconnaissance tour, but asked him to voluntarily answer questions about what is seen in the video released Wednesday. However, the Loudermilk story has repeatedly changed as to the details of what happened on January 5.
In a lengthy statement on Wednesday, Loudermilk called the January 6 panel’s focus on the tour a “smear campaign.” and suggested that the group had taken photos of the Rayburn subway that lawmakers use to get to and from the polls and included children who had just visited the house’s gift shop.
House Republicans have suggested they can release a video they believe exonerates Loudermilk of any suggestion that he led a so-called “reconnaissance” tour the night before the riot.
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