Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), ranking GOP member of the House Administration Committee, is demanding that U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) release security footage tapes from Jan. 5, 2021, after the Jan. 6 panel made “demonstrably false” allegations against another House Republican.
Specifically, in a letter to the USCP, Davis cited “recent press reports, [that] the partisan January 6th Select Committee has falsely accused Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) … of leading so-called reconnaissance tours of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 5, 2021.”
This charge, Davis said, “is demonstrably false. As you are aware, [Administration] Committee Minority staff have reviewed all footage in question and have confirmed no ‘reconnaissance tours’ occurred.”
Davis also foresaw and rejected claims that the tapes he requested would pose a security risk if released to the public, noting that the same tapes have already been made public in some capacity.
“Any argument that this footage represents sensitive ‘security information’ was destroyed once the Board provided copies
to Democrat impeachment managers for public dissemination or it otherwise became available to the public,” Davis wrote.
Concluding the letter, Davis wrote: “If the Board has any hope of preserving a reputation as an unbiased security agency and re-establishing itself as a non-partisan entity, there is no alternative but to release the tapes. If the Board does not release the relevant footage in a timely manner, I will have no choice but to exercise my authority under 2 U.S.C. $ 1979 to release the footage myself.”
The Jan. 6 panel originally leveled the charge against Loudermilk in a May 19 letter requesting his “voluntary cooperation in advancing our investigation” (pdf).
“We believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on Jan. 5, 2021,” the letter said.
“The foregoing information raises questions to which the Select Committee must seek answers,” the Jan. 6 panel continued. “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. For example, in the week following January 6th, Members urged law enforcement leaders to investigate sightings of ‘outside groups in the complex’ on January 5th that ‘appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day.’”
However, Republicans on the House Administration Committee have refuted this claim, saying that their own review of the tapes inside the Capitol on Jan. 5, 2021, showed that no tours had been given—a claim that Davis seems confident enough to back up with a public release of the tapes in question.
The Jan. 6 panel, for its part, has made the opposite assertion, saying that “the Select Committee’s review of evidence directly contradicts that denial.”
In a response to the letter, Loudermilk said that he had met with “a constituent family with young children” in House Office buildings that day, and blasted the Jan. 6 panel as a “political circus.”
On May 21, former President Donald Trump—whose backing continues to hold heavy weight among GOP voters—gave Loudermilk his primary endorsement, calling Loudermilk “a fantastic Representative for the incredible people of Georgia’s 11th Congressional District.”
The USCP and the Jan. 6 panel did not immediately reply to a request to comment on the charges leveled by Davis.