WASHINGTON (AP) — Police determined there was nothing suspicious about a tour of two Capitol office buildings that a House Republican gave to about 15 people the day before Jan. 6, 2021, as supporters of then-President Donald Trump rioted. attacked the Capitol.
The House committee investigating the 2021 uprising examined whether rioters had been involved in reconnaissance and surveillance before the attack, and Democrats suggested that some Republican members may have helped them. But there is no public evidence for that.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia, was simply showing his voters around, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in a letter sent Monday.
Manger’s letter to Rep. Rodney Davis, the highest-ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee, came a few weeks after the House committee investigating the uprising asked Loudermilk for more information about the tour he took the day before the attack. said to lead.
Police have viewed surveillance videos showing Loudermilk leading a tour of about 15 people in the Rayburn and Cannon House office buildings, Manger said.
Republicans on the House Administration Committee — Loudermilk is a member — had previously said they viewed security footage from Jan. 5 and said there were “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on.”
But Representatives Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the chair and vice chair of the Jan. 6 separate committee, argued last month that their assessment of the evidence “directly contradicts that denial.”
Loudermilk has said the January 5 tour was with a family from the constituency and took place in the House office buildings, not the Capitol. He and Davis had appealed to the Capitol Police in May to release surveillance videos.
The Capitol complex includes 20 buildings and facilities, including home and Senate offices. Underground tunnels connect most buildings to the Capitol.
“At no point did the group appear in tunnels that would have led them to the United States Capitol,” Manger wrote in the letter.
Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., a Jan. 6 committee member, said Tuesday that the panel is still eager to hear Loudermilk’s testimony and show the video referenced in the Davis letter for the public to decide.
“What the Republicans said last year was wrong — that there were no tours, no MAGA hats — that was patently wrong.”
The Capitol Police say the tour has been thoroughly investigated and there was nothing suspicious about it.
“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the US Capitol on January 5, 2021 with this group,” Manger said. “We train our officers to be alert to people monitoring or conducting reconnaissance, and we don’t consider any of the activities we’ve observed as suspicious.”
Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
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