In a letter to Loudermilk, committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) claimed that a review of security footage “directly contradicts” Republican claims that there were “no tours” or “large groups” of people at the Capitol in the days before Jan. 6, 2021.
“Public reporting and witness accounts indicate some individuals and groups engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the US Capitol, as well as the House and Senate office buildings,” they wrote. “For example, in the week following Jan. 6, Members urged law enforcement leaders to investigate sightings of ‘outside groups in the complex’ on Jan. 5 that ‘appeared to be associated’” with a “Stop the Steal” rally led by former President Donald Trump that precipitated the riot.
“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 Jan. 5, 2021,” Thompson and Cheney charged.
In a statement responding to the letter Thursday, Loudermilk said: “A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour.’ The family never entered the Capitol building.”
Loudermilk complained that the letter was released to the media by Thompson and Cheney before he had received a copy and accused the panel of “pushing a verifiably false narrative.”
“The facts speak for themselves,” he said. “[N]o place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to Jan. 6.”
Loudermilk, 58, has been in Congress since 2015 and voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania on the day of the riot.