A video released Wednesday shows a Georgia House Republican giving a tour of the Capitol on Jan. 5, 2021, to a group of about a dozen people, including a man who marched on the Capitol the next day and made veiled threats about Democratic leaders.
Capitol Police surveillance video shows Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk, who’s represented a district based in the Atlanta suburbs since 2015, leading people on a tour around the Capitol grounds on Jan. 5.
The video, released by the Jan. 6 Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack, shows the man, who has not been identified, taking photos with his phone of staircases and hallways. A letter from the House panel to Loudermilk Wednesday, though, does not accuse the man of actually entering the Capitol building on Jan. 6. (The committee has interviewed the man, CNN reported Wednesday.)
The committee also released a video the man took while he was marching to the Capitol the next day, in which he said: “There’s no escape, Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler. We’re coming in for you.”
“They got it surrounded,” the man says of fellow Trump supporters converging on the Capitol. “It’s all the way up there on the hill, and it’s all the way around, and they’re coming in, coming in like white on rice for Pelosi, Nadler, even you, AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez].”
Loudermilk said after the release of the video that he was being “targeted” and that the surveillance video viewed by Capitol Police is much longer than the clip released by the committee, in an interview with Fox News.
“When the guys near the tunnels go into the Capitol, that's where they hang the artwork that school children give,” Loudermilk said of the video. “And at the other end, there is the trolleys, the trains, and the kids wanted to see the trains that take the congressmen to the House chambers.”
On Tuesday, Capitol Police said they had found “no evidence” Loudermilk had led a tour of people conducting “surveillance or reconnaissance” of the Capitol. Loudermilk said in a previous appearance on Fox News show Tuesday that members of the group “did nothing suspicious” during the tour and that “to all of us, we had no idea what was going to transpire on the 6th.”
“There is a war on the truth in this country right now, and we have to stand for the truth,” Loudermilk said Wednesday. “The easiest thing for me to do would just been lay down and go dark. I'm not going to do that. We have to stand for truth and right if we're going to save this country.”
Despite his insistence that he’s going to fight for truth, Loudermilk has so far refused an interview with the Jan. 6 committee, which will meet for its third hearing Thursday afternoon. The letter to Loudermilk from Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the committee, was the second, after an initial request in May.
“The foregoing information raises questions the Select Committee must answer,” Thompson wrote to Loudermilk. “We again ask you to meet with the Select Committee at your earliest convenience.”