Georgia GOP Representative Barry Loudermilk recently came under scrutiny after footage of the politician touring the US Capitol building with a group of people prior to the January 6 attack came to light.
The surveillance video, released by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 capitol attack, was reportedly captured on January 5. At the time, the building was closed to tourists due to COVID-19.
Before the latest release, officials questioned Loudermilk about the alleged tour, but the congressman denied the allegations. The U.S. Capitol Police also said that there was “no evidence” of Barry Loudermilk leading the tourists into the building.
Authorities also announced that they did not consider any of the observed activities as “suspicious.” However, the committee recently decided to examine the situation further and discovered a video showing Loudermilk inside the Capitol with other individuals on January 5.
A look into Barry Loudermilk’s Capitol Tour footage and controversy
Amid the ongoing investigation of the January 6 Capitol attack, the committee investigating the riot released surveillance footage showing GOP Representative Barry Loudermilk leading a group of ten individuals into the Capitol building a day before the riot.
According to a letter written by Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, Loudermilk led the tourists to areas in “the Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon House Office Buildings,” as well as the “entrances to tunnels leading to the U.S. Capitol.”
Thompson alleged that the group remained at the venue for “several hours” and even “photographed and recorded” certain areas that are usually not considered to be tourist attractions. He also mentioned that some people present on the tour went on to join the January 6 rally near the White House and marched to the Capitol:
“The select committee has learned that some individuals you sponsored into the complex attended the rally at the Ellipse on the morning of January 6, 2021.”
He further alleged that an individual from the group, who was seen capturing photos of the Longworth House Office building staircase, later filmed a companion holding a flagpole “with a sharpened end” and saying, “It's for a certain person.”
Thompson also claimed that the same individual also made a video containing some “detailed and disturbing threats against specific members of Congress.” The threatening video showed individuals targeting Democratic members like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Speaking on the committee’s observation on Barry Loudermilk’s Capitol Tour video, Thompson detailed:
“In the week following January 6, 2021, members urged law enforcement leaders to investigate sightings of 'outside groups in the complex' on January 5, 2021 that 'appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day.' The select committee's review of surveillance footage showing the above-described tour is consistent with those observations.”
Barry Loudermilk issued an official statement denying the allegations and claimed that the committee and Democrats attempted to provide a “false narrative” about him in relation to the tour:
“This false narrative that the Committee and Democrats continue to push, that Republicans, including myself, led reconnaissance tours is verifiably false. No where that I went with the visitors in the House Office Buildings on January 5th were breached on January 6th; and, to my knowledge, no one in that group was criminally charged in relation to January 6th.”
Loudermilk also alleged that the committee did not contact him before releasing the letter to the press and called the behavior “irresponsible.” The politician also revealed that he received death threats in response to the allegations.
An individual who was a part of Barry Loudermilk’s January 5 tour told CBS News that he visited Washington, D.C., for the Trump rally and denied that his visit to the Capitol was a “reconnaissance tour.”
He also said that Loudermilk only gave them a tour of his office and did not take them to the Capitol building:
“[Rep. Loudermilk] gave us a tour of his office and I don't know exactly what buildings they were in and that was it. I was very excited to meet a representative of Congress. I was quite impressed with the life of a congressman, and the amount of work they do.”
Bennie Thompson asked Barry Loudermilk to meet with the committee at “earliest convenience,” but the latter refused to meet with the authorities at the time of writing.
Everything to know about Barry Loudermilk
Barry Loudermilk is an American politician who serves as the U.S. representative for Georgia's 11th congressional district. He has been serving in the position since the 2015 elections. He also serves as a member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, the Committee on House Administration, and the Joint Committee on the Library.
The politician was born on December 22, 1963, in Riverdale. He enlisted in the United States Air Force after graduating from high school and earned his Associate of Applied Science from the Community College of the Air Force in 1987.
He served as the Communications Operations Specialist for command, control and intelligence operations in the Air Force but left the position in 1992. That same year, he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wayland Baptist University before establishing a career in politics in 2001.
Loudermilk was elected chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party and served in the role until 2004. He was then elected to the State Senate in 2010, and in 2011 he was sworn in.
He was also the chair of the Senate Science and Technology Committee and Secretary to the Veterans, Military, Homeland Security and Public Safety Committees as part of his role as a state senator.
The congressman remained a member of the Georgia State Senate for almost three years and served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011 before being elected to Congress in 2014.
Barry Loudermilk was previously a member of the Freedom Caucus and is currently a part of the Republican Study Committee. He has been married to Desiree Loudermilk since 1983, and the couple have three children and four grandchildren.