Capitol Police: Loudermilk did nothing improper regarding Jan. 5 tour

WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police have determined that Georgia U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk did nothing wrong when he joined a group of constituents touring the Capitol complex on Jan. 5, 2021.

Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger signed a letter outlining his agency’s review of security footage from that day after conducting an investigation requested by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, the ranking Republican member of the House Administration Committee. Davis’ request was filed after the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot asked Loudermilk for information about the tour.

The two congressmen both criticized the committee’s request. Loudermilk has called the committee’s investigation a “political circus,” and he faulted the panel’s members for releasing its letter to the public before he had received it.

He and Davis both said the tour in question was innocent. Manger’s letter appears to confirm that.

“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” he wrote. “We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious.”

A spokesman for the Jan. 6 committee did not immediately respond to a request for reaction to Manger’s letter.

In its original request to Loudermilk on May 19, the committee asked that the Republican from Cassville voluntarily agree to a meeting to discuss the tour and its participants.

Loudermilk’s office said Tuesday that he never responded to the committee’s request because he never received a copy directly. But at the time it was released, he said the tour in question was aboveboard.

“A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour,’ ” he and Davis wrote in a joint response.

Manger’s letter said that review of the surveillance footage showed a group of 12 people entering the House building where Loudermilk’s office is located. Eventually the group grew to 15 people, and a congressional staffer met them at the entrance and walked with them toward Loudermilk’s suite.

The cameras later caught Loudermilk with the group visiting an exhibit located in an adjacent office building. Loudermilk then left the tour and it continued on in the adjacent building, the letter said. At no time did the group enter the tunnel area that would have led to them to the main Capitol building.