December 7, 2022

INSIDER ACCESS: Footage of Capitol tours led by Georgia GOP Rep. on Jan. 5th raises suspicions

INSIDER ACCESS: Footage of Capitol tours led by Georgia GOP Rep. on Jan. 5th raises suspicions

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A chilling new video confirms that Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) gave a reconnaissance tour of the Capitol Complex on January 5th, 2021, a day before the insurrection, despite his previous denials. Even more chilling is the fact that the video includes footage of a man who participated in the tour later threatening several members of Congress during the next day’s assault on the Capitol. Recorded on January 6th, the man is heard saying:

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“There’s no escape Pelosi, Schumer. Nadler. We’re coming for you. We’re coming for you. We’re coming in like white on rice. For Pelosi. Nadler. Schumer. Even you AOC. We’re coming to take you out. And pull you out by your hairs. How about that Pelosi? I’m go…might as well make yourself another appointment. When I get done with ya, you’re gone need a shine up top that ball head.”

The January 6th Commission posted the video in a tweet:

According to Raw Story, Aaron Fritschner, the deputy chief of staff for Rep. Don Beyer (D-NY), said after watching the video, “I am immediately convinced that this is reconnaissance. He’s taking pictures of the entry points around the security checkpoint to the Cannon Tunnel, which connects the House Office Buildings to the U.S. Capitol.”

Fritschner went on to say:

“The tour route sticks out to me. I’ve given many tours, and I don’t understand why he showed them both the Rayburn and Cannon Tunnels. Separate routes from different places into the Capitol, which is where your tour group always wants to get. Why did Loudermilk take them to both?”

In May, Rep. Loudermilk was asked to talk to the January 6th committee about the tour. Blowing the committee off and calling the request a “political circus,” Loudermilk would insist he did nothing wrong. He, along with the GOP leadership, was adamant that no tours were given the day before the insurrection. An aide told The Hill that “There were no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on.”

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Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger was asked to investigate Capitol security footage and reported that he found nothing out of the ordinary. In a letter, Manger said that:

“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021. 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.”

Loudermilk considered that as “proof”, and took to Twitter to defend himself:

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But the alarming video contradicts both Manger and Loudermilk. Loudermilk’s story has changed multiple times. He began by asserting that he gave no tours, then switched to saying he gave a tour to a “constituent family with children,” but didn’t go inside. Then, he added an account of the group going inside to see their Representative’s offices. Loudermilk claimed that the group wasn’t large, but it’s been approximated that up to 15 people joined in the tour. It’s clear on the video that they were taking pictures of entryways, congresspeople, and staff headshots. It’s also clear that one of the men on that tour called out specific congresspeople by name with the intent to cause serious bodily harm.

Politico’s Nicholas Wu:

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After seeing video footage taken from both Capitol cameras and on Insurrection Day, January 6th Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) again requested that Rep. Loudermilk explain his actions, raising concerns about their specifics and intent and referring to their presence in certain office buildings and tunnels leading to U.S. Capitol.

“Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases and security checkpoints,” Thompson said, echoing comments previously made by Rep. Beyer’s chief of staff.

With January 6th hearings resuming tomorrow afternoon, after being postponed while the select committee examined newly discovered evidence, we can expect more light to be shed on who was involved, and who was complicit in aiding the insurrection — an event that not only threatened the halls of Congress and this country’s democracy – but the lives of those serving in it.

We saw the video, we heard the audio. “There’s no escape Pelosi. Schumer, Nadler. We’re coming for you.”

It’s time for accountability for all the seditionists.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxhick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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