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Lawmaker’s Capitol Complex Tour on the Eve of Jan. 6 Was Innocent, Police Say

WASHINGTON — A tour of components of the Capitol advanced given by a Republican lawmaker the day earlier than the Jan. 6 riot seems to have been innocuous, the Capitol Police stated on Monday, describing a go to that had attracted scrutiny from the House committee analyzing the assault as merely a gathering with constituents.

“We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed to be suspicious,” J. Thomas Manger, the chief of the Capitol Police, wrote in a letter about the tour, which was performed by Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia.

Leaders of the House committee had asked Mr. Loudermilk last month to submit to questioning about the tour, saying they have been trying into whether or not rioters had performed reconnaissance of the constructing earlier than the rampage.

They didn’t straight assert that anybody escorted by Mr. Loudermilk had later attacked the Capitol. But they steered that they’d obtained proof that he had led guests round the advanced, and wrote that their evaluate of proof “directly contradicts” Republicans’ denials that closed-circuit safety digicam footage confirmed no such excursions had taken place.

Chief Manger stated Capitol Police had reviewed surveillance footage of the advanced on Jan. 5 and noticed Mr. Loudermilk main a tour of about 15 folks, who visited the Rayburn House Office Building and the Cannon House Office Building.

His letter described the tour as a “visit by constituents” and famous that the group didn’t enter the Capitol constructing or its tunnel system.

“There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with his group on Jan. 5, 2021,” Chief Manger wrote.

Tours of the Capitol have been restricted at the time as a result of of pandemic restrictions.

Mr. Loudermilk’s workplace on Monday launched Chief Manger’s letter, which was despatched to Representative Rodney Davis of Illinois, the prime Republican on the Administration Committee.

A spokesman for the House committee didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

In a press release final month, Mr. Loudermilk conceded that he had introduced the constituents into components of the Capitol advanced — although not the Capitol itself — the day earlier than the riot, however he stated that the go to was innocent.

“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,’” Mr. Loudermilk wrote in a joint assertion with Mr. Davis, including: “No 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.”

Mr. Loudermilk has declined to fulfill with the panel to debate the matter.

To date, not one of seven Republican lawmakers the committee has requested to fulfill with has agreed to so. The committee has issued subpoenas to 5 of them, together with Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority chief, to attempt to drive their cooperation.

On Monday, the panel completed its second public hearing this month, through which it made a wide-ranging case that former President Donald J. Trump created and relentlessly unfold the lie that the 2020 election had been stolen from him, in the face of mounting proof from a refrain of advisers that he had been legitimately defeated.

A professional-Trump crowd of hundreds, believing these lies, attacked the Capitol as Congress was assembly to certify the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr., on Jan. 6, injuring greater than 150 cops and inflicting widespread harm.

Immediately after the riot, Democrats raised questions on whether or not some Republican members of Congress had defied pandemic restrictions and given excursions of the Capitol earlier than the assault, permitting guests to review the structure of the advanced earlier than the violent rampage.

More than 30 Democrats joined Representative Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey in requesting an investigation by the prime Capitol safety officers and the Capitol Police into what Ms. Sherrill referred to as “suspicious behavior” and entry given to guests to the Capitol advanced the day earlier than the riot.

Ms. Sherrill stated she knew of members of Congress who had given “reconnaissance” excursions forward of the assault.

The Capitol Police said at the time that they were investigating the matter.

Republicans vehemently denied the accusations.

One lawmaker, Representative Lauren Boebert, a freshman Colorado Republican whom one Democrat accused of giving a tour, stated in a press release that she had “never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to anyone besides family members in town for my swearing-in.” She referred to as the cost an “irresponsible lie.”

Mr. Loudermilk additionally denounced the accusations and joined an ethics grievance in opposition to the Democrats who made them.

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