Accused GOP Rep: J6 panel knowingly peddled false 'political narrative' of Jan. 5 recon of Capitol

House Democrats' committee deposed two members of Rep. Barry Loudermilk's group from the Jan. 5 tour during the course of their investigation, and neither deposition revealed evidence of wrongdoing.

Published: March 28, 2023 11:11pm

Georgia Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk is pushing back on the "political narrative" of House Democrats' Jan. 6 committee, claiming the panel knew he didn't lead a "reconnaissance tour" of the Capitol building on Jan. 5 but continued to publicly peddle the story anyway.

Loudermilk, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight for the House Administration Committee, told Just the News that the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 should formally apologize to the visitors who were wrongfully accused of participating in a reconnaissance tour on Jan. 5, the day before the Capitol riot took place.

"I do think the January 6 committee, the individuals on it, ought to apologize to every one of the people that came to visit me that day, because some of them, their lives have been altered because of this," he said. 

"I don't know if they're ever going to be able to clean up the damage that's been done to some of them on on social media," he said. "But I do think the January 6 committee owes an apology."

Loudermilk said the group he was showing around the Capitol Hill office buildings included family friends and other individuals that the family friends met while in Washington D.C.

Loudermilk revealed that he and his family were the subject of death threats as a result of the allegations. He said one of the visitors, whom he declined to identify, told him he might not be able to work in the U.S. again after the ordeal.

In June 2021, federal agents visited two members of his group from the Jan. 5 tour. The visits did not result in any evidence that members of his tour were doing anything suspicious while in the Capitol complex.

Jan. 6 committee investigators interviewed these two visitors in April and May of 2022 during the course of their investigation. Loudermilk said that neither deposition revealed evidence of wrongdoing. The visitors, he said, never entered the Capitol building, either during the tour on Jan. 5, as the Capitol was closed for tours due to the pandemic, or on Jan. 6 after the rally on the Ellipse where then-President Trump delivered a speech. 

"They found their credit card data and realized these two individuals were here on January the 5th, and they reached out to them, from what they understand, just asking questions of what they knew," Loudermilk said during a pen and pad briefing with journalists on Tuesday. "And you know, part of that was: 'Were you in the Capitol?' 'No.'

"So, obviously, their interview with the federal agents cleared them of anything, and they really didn't have much to offer because they weren't in the Capitol on January 6, and they really didn't even get close to the Capitol on January 6." 

On May 19, 2022, according to Loudermilk's timeline of events, the committee publicly released a letter to Loudermilk claiming it had evidence that he gave such a tour the day before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 

On June 13, the Capitol Police released a letter attesting that they had reviewed Jan. 5 video surveillance footage and there was no evidence Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with his group of visitors. The Capitol Police also said in the letter that they didn't find the group's activities to be suspicious.

Despite the Capitol Police's letter, the committee made public a second letter to Loudermilk as well as edited video footage of Loudermilk's group. Loudermilk told reporters that this letter furthered the false narrative that he was giving a reconnaissance tour on Jan. 5.

Loudermilk said one of the main goals of his committee's investigation is to compile a final report countering the one released last year by the Democrats' Jan. 6 panel.

"I don't want to do a Hollywood production like they did, and I want to bring out the facts," he said. "We're just going to look at it. The American people deserve the truth, right?"

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