Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) led a tour of the U.S. Capitol the day before the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, Politico reported Thursday, citing a letter from the House Jan. 6 committee to the Republican congressman who voted to overturn the 2020 election results.
“Public reporting and witness accounts indicate some individuals and groups 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,” committee officials wrote in the letter, saying video footage of the tour “raises questions.”
The letter notes that GOP members of the House Administration Committee — which Loudermilk sits on — had reviewed security footage from Jan. 5 and claimed that there were “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on.”
One week after the insurrection, which caused about $1.5 million in property damage to the Capitol, nearly three dozen congressional Democrats wrote to the Capitol Police requesting an investigation into “suspicious behavior and access given to” Capitol visitors on Jan. 5.
“Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5. This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic,” they stated. “The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day.”
Members of the Jan. 6 committee want to hear from Loudermilk next week.