Was a Capitol tour given by Rep. Barry Loudermilk on Jan. 5 a dress rehearsal for the insurrection?

The House select committee is questioning Loudermilk about a tour he gave of the Capitol just before the riots

Published May 19, 2022 5:38PM (EDT)

A fence surrounding the U.S. Capitol has been built overnight for tightening security on September 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. Security in the nation's Capital has been increased in preparation for the Justice for J6 Rally, a rally happening this weekend in Washington for support for those who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to protest the 2020 presidential election outcome. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A fence surrounding the U.S. Capitol has been built overnight for tightening security on September 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. Security in the nation's Capital has been increased in preparation for the Justice for J6 Rally, a rally happening this weekend in Washington for support for those who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to protest the 2020 presidential election outcome. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Georgia Republican Barry Loudermilk is being called into question by the House select committee regarding a tour he gave of the Capitol building the day before the January 6 riot.

In a letter written by the committee to Loudermilk they state a need for further clarity on the purpose of the tour, and the identities of those who were present for it.

An excerpt from the letter:

We write to seek your voluntary cooperation in advancing our investigation. 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. 

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.

RELATED: Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Jan. 6 court case

The letter further states that a committee review of security footage taken within the Capitol contradicts previously made Republican claims that there were no tours, and no known public-facing MAGA presence on the property during the days leading up to the Jan. 6 riot.

According to CNN coverage of the investigation, representatives for Loudermilk have not yet responded to the inquiry, but it is known that a meeting with Loudermilk has been requested by the committee to take place sometime next week.


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CNN also points out that New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill made statements following the Capitol riots indicating his belief that there had been "insiders" giving tours of the Capitol in the days prior, but didn't name any names at that time. 

[There were] "members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5th for reconnaissance for the next day," Sherrill said.

Loudermilk, a member of the Committee on House Administration, was among the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn Biden's election. 

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By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere

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