The surveillance footage Republicans chastised the 1/6 committee to show has been published and it is not good news for Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia. It also raises questions about the USCP Chief’s letter denying the footage revealed anything remotely appearing to be reconnaissance.
Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) wrote to Rep. Loudermilk requesting (again) to speak with him, as video shows him leading a tour on January 5th to places “not typically of interest to tourists” and on a day when the complex was closed to the public.
Surveillance footage shows a tour led by Loudermilk to areas in the House Office Buildings, as well as the entrances to Capitol tunnels.
Individuals on the tour photographed/recorded areas not typically of interest to tourists: hallways, staircases and security checkpoints. pic.twitter.com/Rjhf2BTdbc
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 15, 2022
Well, this is awkward for Rep. Loudermilk, who has spent a lot of energy being outraged that anyone would accuse him of leading a reconnaissance tour when he was only leading a family with children around and gift shop something or other, because it turns out that Loudermilk is on surveillance video leading what has every appearance of being a reconnaissance tour to areas on the Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon House Office Buildings, as well as entrances to the tunnels that lead to the U.S. Capitol.
Additionally… The individuals on the tour “photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists,” including “hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints”.
“For example, the below image shows an individual appearing to photograph a staircase in the basement of the Longworth House Office Building while you speak with others nearby…”
“The below image shows members of the tour you led also taking photographs of the tunnel leading from the Rayburn House Office Building to the Capitol:”
“The behavior of these individuals during the January 5, 2021 tour raises concerns about their activity and intent while inside the Capitol complex.”
And… as we all know now from earlier news Wednesday morning, “The Select Comm has learned that some individuals you sponsored into the complex attended the rally at the Ellipse on the morning of January 6th, of 2021.”
But: “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.”
These individuals were then seen at the unpermitted march to the Capitol and while standing near the Capitol grounds, “the same individual made a video that contained detailed and disturbing threats against specific Members of Congress.”
This person, who was led around to entrances to the Capitol the day before by the Georgia Republican, says, “There’s no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler. We’re coming for you! They got it surrounded. They’re coming in like white on rice for Pelosi, Nadler, even you, AOC. We’re coming to take you out! We’ll pull you out by your hairs.”
A pause here for reflection that Republicans have spent a week clutching their pearls over a man who flew to Brett Kavanaugh’s state and then stood “near” his heavily guarded home with a gun, and called 911 to turn himself in without approaching the house or the people in it. Kavanaugh now has extra security after Republicans balked at also giving security for the clerks and staff, many of whom are facing threats.
And yet, these same people are blasé about Donald Trump’s supporters and many of their own party’s elected members of Congress appearing to aid what turned into a deadly attack on the Capitol, which threatened their fellow members, staff, and the Vice President and resulted in several deaths and PTSD for some of the law enforcement who were overwhelmed by the raging terrorists on that day.
All of this raises serious questions about the letter sent to Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill) from USCP Chief Manger, in which he confirmed that Loudermilk brought a group of approximately 12 people that “grew to 15 people” into Rayburn/the Capitol complex on the 5th of January, but states that at “no time” did they appear in any tunnels that would have led them to the U.S. Capitol, and at any rate the tunnels were posted with officers. (Read full letter below.) It was also carefully worded to deny entrance to the U.S. Capitol, while the request used the words “Capitol complex,” as noted by some at the time.
Someone has seriously misstated the facts of the surveillance footage, either the USCP Chief or Representative Davis.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.