A letter from the chairman of the U.S. House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol dated Wednesday raises concerns about a tour U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk led the day before.
The letter from Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., included still photos of surveillance footage taken that day of Loudermilk, R-Cassville, leading a tour of areas of the Rayburn, Longworth and Cannon House office buildings as well as tunnels leading to the Capitol.
“Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints,” Thompson wrote. “The behavior of these individuals during the January 5, 2021, tour raises concerns about their activity and intent while inside the Capitol complex.”
Thompson’s letter came two days after U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger sent a letter to Loudermillk stating a police review of the surveillance footage of the tour showed nothing suspicious.
Loudermilk responded Tuesday on Twitter with the statement, “The truth will always prevail.”
According to Thompson’s letter, the committee has learned that some of those who attended the tour given by Loudermilk attended a rally at the Ellipse the next morning, during which then-President Donald Trump is accused of inflaming the crowd of his supporters to march on the Capitol.
Recordings from Jan. 6 obtained by the committee show a person who appeared to be photographing a staircase in the Longworth House Office Building during Loudermilk’s tour the previous day filmed a companion making threats against specific House Democratic leaders.
The committee asked Loudermilk last month to meet with its members to answer questions about the tour, but the congressman refused.
“We again ask you to meet with the select committee at your earliest convenience,” Thompson wrote.
Loudermilk responded Wednesday by accusing the commitee of targeting him over an issue that already has been resolved.
“The Capitol Police already put this false accusation to bed, yet the committee is undermining the Capitol Police and doubling down on their smear campaign, releasing so-called evidence of a tour of the House office buildings, which I have already publicly addressed,” the congressman wrote on Twitter.
The committee has held two televised public hearings, last Thursday and again on Monday. A third hearing that had been scheduled for Wednesday was postponed until Thursday.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.