WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Police have determined there is nothing suspicious about a tour of the US Capitol office buildings that a House Republican gave to about 15 people the day before the January 6 attacks. By rioting the supporters of the then President Donald Trump.
The House committee investigating the 2021 uprising investigated whether rioters had been involved in reconnaissance and surveillance prior to the attack, and Democrats suggested that some Republican members may have helped them. But no public proof of this has been found.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia, was simply showing his constituents around Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger in a letter sent Monday.
Manger’s letter to Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, came weeks after the House committee investigating the rebellion asked Loudermilk for more information. About the tour he said he had led the day before the attack.
Manger said police reviewed surveillance video showing Loudermilk leading a tour of about 15 people at the Rayburn and Cannon House office buildings.
Loudermilk – a Republican on the House Administration Committee – previously said he reviewed security footage from January 5 and said “no tours, no large groups, no one with the MAGA hat.”
But reps. Benny Thompson of Mississippi and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, chairman and vice chairman of the separate January 6 committee, argued last month that their review of the evidence “outright refutes that denial.”
Loudermilk has said the January 5 visit was with a constituent family and took place in the House Office buildings and not the Capitol building. He and Davis called Capitol Police in May to release the surveillance video.
The Capitol Complex consists of 20 buildings and facilities, including House and Senate offices. Underground tunnels connect most of the buildings to the Capitol.
“The group never appeared in any of the tunnels that lead them to the US Capitol,” Manger wrote in the letter.
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., a Jan. 6 committee member, said Tuesday that the panel still wants to hear Loudermilk’s testimony and show the public the video referenced by the Davis letter to make a decision.
“What Republicans said last year was false – that there was no travel, no MAGA cap – that was clearly false.”
Capitol police say the tour was thoroughly investigated and there was nothing suspicious.
“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the US Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” Manger said. “We train our officers to be on the alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any activity suspicious.”
Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.