WASHINGTON — The U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot says a man shown on footage outside the Capitol during the insurrection was also on a tour Georgia U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk hosted the day prior.
The revelation comes after Loudermilk released a letter from Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger on Tuesday that said the congressman had done nothing wrong as part of the Jan. 5, 2021, tour. In response, the committee has now renewed its request that he voluntarily agree to an interview about the group he escorted.
The committee in a letter to Loudermilk on Wednesday also provided more details about the group. Some individuals in that group attended a “stop the steal” rally near the White House on Jan. 6, wrote Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat.
“According to video recordings from that day obtained by the Select Committee, the individual who appeared to photograph a staircase in the Longworth House Office Building filmed a companion with a flagpole appearing to have a sharpened end who spoke to the camera saying, ‘It’s for a certain person,’ while making an aggressive jabbing motion,” the letter said. “Later, these individuals joined the unpermitted march from the Ellipse to the U.S. Capitol.”
The existence of the video was first reported by Punchbowl News. Loudermilk’s office released a statement Tuesday afternoon criticizing the committee’s insinuation that he conducted a “reconnaissance tour,” calling it a false narrative. Nothing about the constituents or the tour was suspicious, he said.
“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,” Loudermilk said.
The Wednesday letter says that surveillance footage the committee reviewed shows Loudermilk, a Cassville Republican, leading a group of about 10 people on a tour of the Capitol complex on Jan. 5. The group walked through three buildings that contain the offices of House members, and Loudermilk’s guests also stopped at a tunnel leading to the main Capitol building. Despite the complex being closed to the public at the time, the group walked around for several hours.
“Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints,” the letter said.
The next day, surveillance footage showed the man who had filmed the video during the tour shouting “detailed and disturbing threats” about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — all Democrats.
“For example,” the letter said, “as the individual filmed the march to the Capitol, he said, ‘There’s no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler. We’re coming for you.’”
The committee did not indicate the man had entered the Capitol during the attack. Punchbowl News reported he had been interviewed by the committee and does not appear to have been charged with any wrongdoing related to the attack.
Staff writer David Wickert contributed to this article.
The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold the third in a series of public hearings Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. The panel plans to examine the pressure Donald Trump and his aides put on Vice President Mike Pence to keep Trump in power by throwing out legitimate electoral votes for Joe Biden.
Tia Mitchell is the AJC’s Washington correspondent. In this role, she writes about Georgia’s congressional delegation, campaigns, elections and the impact that decisions made in D.C. have on residents of the Peach State.