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Capitol Police say ‘there is no evidence’ of reconnaissance tour by GOP lawmaker before January 6

The House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, raised the issue publicly in a letter last month asking Loudermilk to explain the purpose of his January 5 meeting with a group of constituents. Days after the attack, some Democrats began accusing Republicans of providing tours to individuals who later went on to storm the Capitol.

“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger wrote in a letter on Monday to Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee. “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.”

The Capitol Police review was done at the urging of Davis. The police review of security video from January 5, 2021, comes after the House select committee raised concerns about Loudermilk hosting visitors in his office that day and requested that he voluntarily answer questions.

Manger said the video shows Loudermilk with “a group of approximately 12 people which later grew to 15 people” walking through the Capitol office buildings on January 5. It also states that the group of visitors did not “appear in any tunnels that would lead them to the US Capitol.”

House Republicans suggested they may release video they believe exonerates Loudermilk of any insinuation that he led a so-called “reconnaissance” tour the night before the January 6 riot.

The House select committee declined to comment on Manger’s letter.

The letter the committee sent to Loudermilk last month indicated the panel has reviewed evidence that “directly contradicts” previous claims by Republican lawmakers who said security footage from the days before January 6 shows there were “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on” at the US Capitol complex.

“Based on our review of evidence in the Select Committee’s possession, we believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021,” Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, and Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, wrote at the time.

Loudermilk and Davis issued a joint statement responding to the committee’s initial letter, pushing back on any allegation of “reconnaissance” tours on January 5 and calling for Capitol Police to release the footage.

“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.’ The family never entered the Capitol building,” they wrote at the time.

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