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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Jan 6 Panel releases video of Capitol Tour before attack

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — House committee investigating January 6, 2021 uprising Video of a Republican lawmaker visiting the Capitol, a day before the attack, was released on Wednesday, showing participants taking pictures of stairs and tunnels on campus.

The panel released the video as it renewed calls for GOP MP, Georgia Representative Barry Loudermilk, to speak to the committee about the tour. Loudermilk has so far declined to be interviewed and denies any wrongdoing, and the chief of US Capitol police said in a letter to Republicans this week that after reviewing surveillance videos, “we are not aware of any activity.” not considered suspicious.”

Still, the committee says it has questions. In addition to surveillance video, the footage released by the panel also included a video of an unidentified man walking towards the Capitol on January 6. is holding a flagpole in what appears to be a sharp end, which he calls “for a certain person.” The committee says the person in the video is one of the tour participants who had been taking pictures inside the Capitol the day before.

Later footage showed the man near the Capitol and making explicit threats toward Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and New York Reps Jerrold Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“They’re coming in, Pelosi, Nadler, even you, like white on rice for the AOC,” the man says in the video released by the committee. “We’re coming to kick you out and pull you out of your hair. … When I’m done with you, you’re going to need a shine on top of that bald head.”

The panel did not say whether he had come to the Capitol or whether he was facing any charges. While more than 800 people have been charged with breaking into the building, or violently beating police officers, thousands of other protesters were outside the building or on the National Mall and did not engage in violence. The breach temporarily halted the authentication of President Joe Biden’s victory.

In Wednesday’s letter to Loudermilk to renew a request for an interview, Mississippi Representative Benny Thompson, chairman of the committee, said the panel “expected to show you video evidence when you met us” but it was not released publicly. Was doing it because Loudermilk had done so far refused. Thompson said areas photographed and recorded by some on the tour are “generally not of interest to tourists, including hallways, stairways and security checkpoints.”

Another member of the panel, Republican Representative Adam Kizinger of Illinois, tweeted after the video was released: “Please take a look. These are not normal travel routes, the Capitol was closed for tourism.”

The back-and-forth with Loudermilk has underscored the committee’s difficulty in obtaining any information from Republicans who were communicating with President Donald Trump, the White House or rioters during or before the rebellion as Trump described his election defeat. Strategized about reversing. While the panel has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, five GOP lawmakers have defied the summons, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who spoke with Trump that day.

Loudermilk has not been summoned, and there is no evidence that he knew any of the participants on his tour were outside the Capitol the next day.

The Georgia Republican said in a statement after the video’s release that the panel was “undermining the Capital Police and doubling down on their smear campaign.” He noted that none of the locations he visited on January 6 had been breached.

“As confirmed by Capitol Police, there was nothing suspicious about this visit with constituents,” Loudermilk said.

Police reviewed footage of Loudermilk’s tour as the committee requested his interview, and some Democrats said shortly after the attack that Republicans had led “reconnaissance tours” of the building. There is no evidence that this has happened.

“The false narrative that the committee and Democrats continue to advance, that Republicans, including me, led the reconnaissance tours, are actually false,” Loudermilk said in his statement.

In a letter sent Monday to Republicans on the House Administration Committee, of which Loudermilk is a member, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said there were about 15 people on tour and that Loudermilk was showing components around the Capitol complex, which are open to visitors. It was closed at that time due to coronavirus concerns. But he did not enter the Capitol itself. Manger said the group went around one of the buildings without even a Congressman.

Surveillance video released by the committee shows the group at the entrance of the tunnels that lead to the Capitol but do not enter the building. The Capitol complex consists of 20 buildings and facilities, including House and Senate offices, and underground tunnels connect most of the buildings to the Capitol.

“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the US Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” Manger said in the letter. “We train our officers to be on the alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any activity suspicious.”

Republicans on the House Administration Committee previously said they had reviewed security footage from January 5 and said “no travel, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats.”

But Thompson and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, chairman and vice chairman of the January 6 panel, said last month that her review of the evidence “outright refutes that denial.”

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Associated Press writers Fernoush Amiri and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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