The chief of the U.S. Capitol Police has debunked a claim made about a Republican lawmaker by members of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked committee looking into the incident at the building last year.
The chief noted in a letter that there is no evidence that Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia led a group of protesters on a reconnaissance mission the day before the riots.
Just the News :
Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, appointed since the Jan. 6 tragedy, wrote in a letter to Congress obtained by Just the News, that an exhaustive review of security footage found no evidence that the Georgia congressman did anything other than give constituents a tour of some congressional office buildings.
The Congressman didn’t even enter the U.S. Capitol with the group, Manger said.
“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021,” Manger wrote in a letter to Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., the ranking 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.”
Davis, who led his own review of all security video footage, demanded Monday night that the Democrats who smeared Loudermilk’s name apologize and face an ethics inquiry.
“The Democrats need to be ashamed of themselves,” Davis told the Just the News, Not Noise television show.
Manger’s letter undercuts allegations made a month ago by Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, the chairman and vice chairwoman, respectively, of the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee.
They sent a letter released to the media in May demanding Loudermilk volunteer testimony and explain why he was giving a tour of the Capitol the day before the riots, suggesting it could be part of an effort to help case the Capitol building before the Jan. 6 protests.
“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,” Cheney and Thompson wrote.
“The foregoing information raises questions to which the Select Committee must seek answers. 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, 2021,” the added.
They cited an earlier letter from Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill that alleged some GOP lawmakers gave tours on Jan. 5, 2021 that involved “suspicious behavior and access” and appeared to give defendants who stormed the Capitol the next day “an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex.”
“The presence of these groups within the Capitol Complex was indeed suspicious,” Sherrill wrote.
But, according to Manger, “At no time did the group appear in any tunnels that would have led them to the U.S. Capitol.”
“In addition, the tunnels leading to the U.S. Capitol were posted with USCP officers and admittance to the U.S. Capitol without a Member of Congress was not permitted on January 5, 2021,” he added.
Davis is incensed.
“This is what we knew all along,” he said. “We knew that there was no Republican who led anybody who breached the Capitol on a reconnaissance tour, leading up to January 6. I had my team go through the tapes back in January to verify that because one of my colleagues, Mikie Sherrill, she started this rumor that somehow Republicans were taking people on reconnaissance tours.
“She said she used her military training to recognize this. Well, you know what, there is no evidence that that’s ever happened.”
“That is behavior unbecoming of a member of Congress, and you ought to be held accountable for that,” he added.