Jan. 6 committee seeks info from GOP Rep. Loudermilk over Capitol tour
The Jan. 6 select committee is requesting testimony from Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), the panel announced Thursday.
Why it matters: The request comes as the panel's members have become increasingly willing to seek information from their colleagues. They even went as far as to subpoena five House Republicans earlier this month.
The details: In a letter to Loudermilk, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the panel, wrote that Loudermilk has information regarding "a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021," citing a review of evidence in the committee's possession.
- "Public reporting and witness accounts indicate some individuals and groups engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the U.S. Capitol, as well as the House and Senate office buildings, in advance of January 6," Thompson continued.
- Thompson also claimed the panel has evidence that "directly contradicts" claims by Republicans on the House Administration Committee, of which Loudermilk is a member, that a review of footage determined there were "no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on" leading up to Jan. 6.
The other side: "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,'" Loudermilk and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, said in a statement.
- They said the family never entered the building, accusing the Jan. 6 committee of "pushing a verifiably false narrative" and calling on the Capitol Police to "release the tapes."
- They also highlighted an ethics complaint they filed last May against Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and other House Democrats who made the allegations.
Loudermilk expanded in a video released Friday that he took a family with young children and a guest to lunch at a House cafeteria on Jan. 5, suggesting that the committee has taken an interest because “some were actually wearing red baseball caps.”
- He argued the committee should have dealt with the matter privately. “If this committee wanted to know the truth about this, all they had to do was ask,” Loudermilk continued, asserting that they sent an “accusatory letter … insinuating [I] am some kind of evil conspirator.”
State of play: Loudermilk claimed he, his staff and family have since received “numerous disparaging messages and, yes, even threats of violence." He said law enforcement is now monitoring his offices, home and family.
Catch up quick: Loudermilk was one of a majority of Georgia House Republicans to object to the election certification, saying later that he believed it was “the right thing to do.”
- Text messages released by CNN showed Loudermilk’s texts to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on January 6 saying: “It’s really bad up here on the hill. They have breached the Capitol…this doesn’t help our cause.”
Flashback: Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) faced an allegation in the aftermath of Jan. 6 that she gave a "large" tour in the run-up to the Capitol attack.
- Boebert called the claim, made by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), "categorically false."
What's next: Thompson said they are seeking an interview on the week of May 23.
- Loudermilk said Friday “They only want to destroy their political opponents. I’m not going to stand by and let that happen”
Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from Reps. Davis and Loudermilk and a video from Loudermilk released on Friday.