Rep. Barry Loudermilk
by WorldTribune Staff, June 15, 2022
The House Select Committee on Jan. 6 is being called out for falsely suggesting a Republican congressman ran a "reconnaissance mission" inside the Capitol on Jan. 5, 2021, one day before protesters entered the building.
Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, in a letter to Congress on Monday, said that an exhaustive review of security footage found no evidence that Georgia Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk did anything other than give constituents a tour of some congressional office buildings, Just the News
, which obtained a copy of the letter, reported.
Manger said that Loudermilk didn’t even enter the U.S. Capitol with the tourist group.
“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 Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, 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,” Manger said in the letter.
In a May 19 letter
to Loudermilk, Jan. 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney wrote: “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 Jan. 6, 2021.”
New Jersey Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill played a primary role in spreading the false "reconnaissance mission" story. In a letter that was cited by Thompson and Cheney, Sherrill 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.
Republicans called for an ethics investigation after Democrats were caught in the lie.
"The Democrats need to be ashamed of themselves," Davis told the "Just the News, Not Noise" television show Monday night.
"All I can think of is this is a Soviet-style propaganda trial, like a show trial," New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, who spent time working in Communist Yugoslavia earlier in her career, told Just the News. "They put this tape together using propaganda, selected words and clauses cut and pasted to smear the people they want to smear and to get the outcome."
Manger’s letter unequivocally cleared Loudermilk, noting his constituent group of 12 to 15 people never reached the Capitol and did not enter the tunnels from the adjacent office buildings. Instead, they visited an exhibit in the Rayburn House Office building.
“At no time did the group appear in any tunnels that would have led them to the U.S. Capitol,” the chief wrote to Davis. “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.”
Davis lambasted Democrats for using the media to smear a colleague’s name before they had proof of wrongdoing, adding Manger confirmed from video footage what his own investigation had found weeks earlier.
“This is what we knew all along. We knew that there was no Republican who led anybody who breached the Capitol on a reconnaissance tour, leading up to January 6,” Davis said. “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.”
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