Speed Reads

caught on camera

Jan. 6 committee releases video of Capitol tour the day before attack

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack released surveillance video on Wednesday of a tour led by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) one day before the riot. Participants took photos and videos of areas of the Capitol complex that are "not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints," the committee said.

The panel also released footage shot near the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a man they said was on the tour. The man is heard making apparent threats toward House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). "They're coming in, coming in like white on rice for Pelosi, Nadler, even you, AOC," the man states. "We're coming to take you out and pull you out by your hairs."

Loudermilk has rebuffed a request to meet with the committee, and denied any wrongdoing. In a letter sent to Republican members of the House Administration Committee on Monday, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger wrote that there were about 15 people on Loudermilk's tour, and there is no evidence he "entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on Jan. 5, 2021. 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."

There are 20 buildings and facilities in the Capitol complex, and the surveillance video does not show the tour group entering the Capitol building itself. In a letter sent to Loudermilk on Wednesday, the Jan. 6 committee's chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), raises the point that the complex was closed to visitors at the time because of the coronavirus. By taking photos of tunnels, hallways, and staircases, "the behavior of these individuals during the Jan. 5, 2021, tour raises concerns about their activity and intent while inside the Capitol complex," Thompson said.