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Capitol Police debunk Jan. 6 panel allegation GOP lawmaker helped rioters surveil complex

In blow to Thompson-Cheney committee, Capitol police chief says "no evidence" Rep. Loudermilk did anything wrong: "We do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious."

Published: June 13, 2022 7:23pm

Updated: June 13, 2022 10:08pm

In a major blow to one of the Democrat-led Jan. 6 investigative committee’s allegations, the Capitol police chief declared Monday there is no evidence that Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk led a group of protesters on a reconnaissance mission the day before the riots.

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 footage, demanded Monday night that the Democrats who besmirched 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 two 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.

Manger’s letter unequivocally cleared Loudermilk, noting his constituent group of 12 to 15 people never even 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," 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."

Davis said those who proffered the allegations should be held accountable by the House Ethics Committee.

“That is behavior unbecoming of a member of Congress, and you ought to be held accountable for that,” he said.

Spokespersons for Thompson and Cheney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The unraveling of the Loudermilk allegations is the second major falsehood to blow up on Democrats running the Jan. 6 committee, which has no members selected by GOP leaders.  

Last November, Thompson’s team was forced to apologize to former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik for making a false allegation he attended a Jan. 5 meeting in Washington to plot blocking the certification in Congress of the November 2020 elections.

The admission of error came after Just the News obtained toll and phone records showing Kerik was in New York and could not have attended the meeting.

"In advance of our deposition of Mr. Kerik, we wanted to correct an error in the letter accompanying the subpoena that you accepted on his behalf," the committee wrote to Kerik’s lawyer.

But the Loudermilk allegations garnered nationwide attention as news outlets such as CNN, CBS News and The Washington Post aired the Thompson-Cheney letter, casting a pall over the Georgia congressman -- without proof he had carried out a surveillance operation

As such, the allegations are now relegated to a long list of Democrat-contrived, news-media driven falsehoods that include Russia collusion, troop bounties, a Ukraine quid-pro-quo and the claims by 51 national security officials that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a Russian disinformation operation.

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