Rep. Loudermilk Responds to House Democrats' Jan. 6 Claims Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
By Jay Clemons | Wednesday, 15 June 2022 03:30 PM
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., spoke out against the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 unrest at the Capitol on Wednesday, accusing the panel of "undermining" the Capitol Police's professional responsibilities and engaging in a "smear campaign" against him.
In a multi-response Twitter post from Wednesday, Loudermilk addressed the accusation that he, along with several other Republican members of Congress, allegedly oversaw "reconnaissance tours" inside the Capitol early in January 2021, prior to the rally on Jan. 6.
"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," wrote Loudermilk.
The congressman added: "As Capitol Police confirmed, nothing about this visit with constituents was suspicious. The pictures show children holding bags from the House gift shop, which was open to visitors, and taking pictures of the Rayburn train.
"This false narrative that the Committee and Democrats continue to push, that Republicans, including myself, led reconnaissance tours is verifiably false. No where that I went with the visitors in the House Office Buildings on January 5th were breached on January 6th; … and, to my knowledge, no one in that group was criminally charged in relation to January 6th. Once again, the Committee released this letter to the press, and did not contact me.
"This type of behavior is irresponsible and has real consequences — including ongoing death threats to myself, my family, and my staff."
Was the videotaped tour malicious or potentially dangerous in any way? It's difficult to discern that from a short clip.
The Jan. 6 panel's video could potentially refute a May article from The Hill, which reported that a February letter to the Capitol Police Board indicated that surveillance videos from Jan. 5, 2021, showed "no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on."
Back in May, the Jan. 6 committee also wrote a letter to Loudermilk, which read, in part:
"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.
"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."
The committee letter then addressed the Capitol Police Board's report of "no tours … no one with MAGA hats on."
The "Select Committee's review of evidence directly contradicts that denial," read the panel letter to Loudermilk.
The nine-member House panel comprises seven Democrats and two Republicans — Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
It's worth noting: Neither Kinzinger nor Cheney have gotten along well publicly with former President Donald Trump, who was still in office on Jan. 6, 2021.