Jan. 6 committee wants to talk to Ga. rep who led group on Capitol tour day before insurrection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The January 6th Committee is asking for a Georgia Congressman to testify after it released video showing him leading a tour through the U.S. Capitol complex the day before the insurrection.

Officials said some of those people were part of a mob that stormed the Capitol.

The request comes the day after Rep. Barry Loudermilk was cleared by Capitol police, who said the tour was not suspicious.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot learned that the committee investigating the attack at the Capitol now says that the fact that he was cleared by Capitol police is not enough and that they want to hear directly from him.

On Wednesday, the Jan. 6 Select Committee tweeted video showing the Georgia congressman leading a tour through parts of the Capitol complex that they said aren’t common areas people request to see. The video clearly shows some people taking pictures.

The committee said in a letter to Loudermilk that during the tour, people “recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases and security checkpoints.”

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According to the committee, the “behavior of these individuals during the January 5, 2021 tour raises concerns about their activity and intent while inside the Capitol complex.”

According to a letter, at least one of the men he sponsored on the tour joined the riot outside the Capitol the very next day. They referred to that part of the video as a direct threat against members of Congress.

“The individual who appeared to photograph a staircase in the Longworth House Office Building filmed a companion with a flagpole appearing to have a sharpened end who spoke to the camera, saying ‘It’s for certain purposes’ while making an aggressive jabbing motion,” the committee wrote.

The then featured video showing the man saying he was “coming for” Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and other Congressional Democrats.

“We’re coming to take you out,” the man says in the video.

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The committee has not identified the man or provided evidence that the man ever entered the Capitol.

Security videos black out the faces of the people on the tour but show Loudermilk, who has declined to meet with the committee so far.

On Tuesday, the Capitol Police acknowledged they conducted a review of security footage from that day but didn’t see any evidence of a reconnaissance tour. They said a group of about 12 constituents did visit Loudermilk and they did visit several office buildings, but that they didn’t appear in any tunnels that would have led to the Capitol.

Loudermilk was cleared of any suspicious activity in that review.

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

Loudermilk defended his actions that day via Twitter.

“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,” Loudermilk said.

Elliot spoke to Loudermilk Wednesday via Zoom and he blasted the Jan. 6 Committee for releasing the letter to the media before they released it to him.

“They’ve never sent a letter asking me, never called me,” Loudermilk said. “They sent it to you guys first, so if they were interested in the truth, they had a year and four months to call me and talk. I would have been glad to talk to them because there’s nothing. There’s nothing there.”

Loudermilk’s Democratic opponent in the general election, Antonio Daza, said the congressman needs to go before the committee.

“Rep. Loudermilk should fully cooperate with the committee, so we can get the full truth about what happened on Jan. 6,” Daza said.