Loudermilk to reveal initial findings in reinvestigation of Jan. 6

WASHINGTON — Motivated in part by his own experience with the House select committee on Jan. 6, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk is in charge of leading an investigation of that investigation.

Loudermilk said the investigation has two tracks. First, he wants to further probe security and logistical breakdowns during the violent attack two years ago. Republicans criticized the bipartisan Jan. 6 select committee for not focusing enough on that in its final report.

Loudermilk’s second goal is personal. He is investigating the select committee’s entire body of work to identify any flaws. And he said he knows from experience that flaws exist.

The Cassville Republican is still angry over what he describes as being “unfairly targeted” by the select committee after security footage showed him giving a tour of a House office building to a group of people that included at least one person who participated in a rally in support of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021.

Loudermilk said those were constituents who attended a rally near the White House but who did not enter the Capitol after it was breached. He said the select committee knew this and knew that law enforcement had looked into everything and cleared him of wrongdoing. Still, the committee went public in May with its concerns about the tours, and Loudermilk said the panel insinuated he was helping insurrectionists perform reconnaissance ahead of the riot.

“Federal agents investigated that a year before (the select committee) did and said there’s nothing to this and went on,” Loudermilk said. “And so, if they did that to me, did they do that in other areas?”

Loudermilk said an initial round of findings will be released early this week, based on the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight’s review of thousands of pages of testimony, hours of video footage and reams of documents. The subcommittee has access to the Jan. 6 panel’s entire body of work obtained during its 18-month investigation that resulted in an 845-page report issued in December.

“What of that is valid?” said Loudermilk, the subcommittee’s chairman. “Because there was a lot of politics in it, right? And so this is going to be our initial findings of what we found out looking through affidavits and depositions and video of what we have found so far.”

Democrats have accused Republicans of using their new majority control in the House to undermine the select committee’s work and create a false narrative around the deadly riot. U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who served as the committee’s chairman, told NBC News that he stands behind the committee’s findings.

“As I have said many times, the work of the January 6 Committee was completely bipartisan, comprehensive, and professional — it stands on its own,” Thompson said in a statement. “January 6 was one of the darkest days in our democracy and necessitated a full and complete investigation — we did not leave anything on the table.”

Thompson also pointed out that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy declined to work with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the committee’s makeup after she rejected far-right lawmakers that he initially nominated for the panel.

“Extreme MAGA Republican efforts — led by Kevin McCarthy — to politicize and whitewash the events of that day will not pass muster with the American people,” Thompson told NBC. “He had his chance to work with us. He declined and showed he was completely uninterested in a real investigation.”

Loudermilk said the findings that will be released this week are just the beginning.

“What we’re going to do is start rolling out the findings that we have, and then those will roll into more of the formal hearings,” he said.

Eventually, there will be a written report on the reinvestigation.

Loudermilk has also been tasked with drafting protocols for the House to evaluate requests from the media and Jan. 6 defendants to review the security tapes obtained by the select committee. McCarthy initially gave Fox News personality Tucker Carlson exclusive access to all of the footage, and Carlson selectively edited portions into a report that aired earlier this month and portrayed the pro-Trump mob as peaceful.

McCarthy later said the evidence will be released more widely once the process is in place.