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Jan. 6 panel releases new surveillance video of tour given on eve of riot

Rep. Loudermilk, who led the tour, has refused requests from the committee to provide more information about what he was doing that day.

WASHINGTON — The Jan. 6 Committee on Wednesday released new footage of a man who on Jan. 6 outside the Capitol made violent verbal threats against top Democratic lawmakers and who the day before had been taken on a tour of House office buildings by Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.

The man is heard in a video outside the Capitol threatening Democrats Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In the days after the deadly riot, Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about tours given of the Capitol complex, which had been closed to members of the public due to pandemic restrictions.

The surveillance footage released Wednesday shows Loudermilk giving a tour to a small group — some wearing red caps — as some individuals take photos of Capitol staircases, tunnels and security checkpoints that are used by lawmakers and staff members daily. 

The video does not identify the man. Or provide any evidence that he or other members of the tour Loudermilk led entered the Capitol complex on Jan. 6, when a mob of supporters of Donald Trump tried to block his election defeat.

Video showing the same man taking photos of hallways and staircases on the tour led by Loudermilk.
Video showing the same man taking photos of hallways and staircases on the tour led by Loudermilk.Capitol Police

The video includes pictures the Jan. 6 committee says the attendees of Loudermilk's tour took, including the outside of Nadler's office and what appears to be an office directory for the Judiciary Committee, with the photos of Democratic lawmakers.

“There is no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler — we’re coming for you,” the man says in the video. “We’re coming in like white on rice, for Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, even you AOC. We’re coming to take you out, and pull you out by your hairs. How about that Pelosi. 

“Might as well make yourself another appointment. When I get done with you, you’re gonna need a shine up on top of that bald head.”

NBC News reviewed additional online videos that the unidentified man filmed on the tour. In the video, he says that he’s “with Barry Loudermilk of Georgia.” While in the basement of the Cannon office building, he films public historic displays about Congress.

Loudermilk initially denied that he gave any tour on Jan. 5, 2021; when more evidence came out, he denied any wrongdoing. The Georgia Republican, a Trump ally, said the Jan. 6 committee has never personally contacted him about the tour, and that he only learned about their request for information from the media.

"They're only interested in creating a narrative for you guys," Loudermilk told reporters as he left his office Wednesday afternoon. "There's nothing there."

On Tuesday, Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger said in a letter that the Loudermilk tour was not suspicious and that the group never entered the Capitol building itself, though individuals were seen in the footage taking photographs of the underground tunnel systems that were used to conduct evacuations of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a lengthy statement earlier Wednesday, Loudermilk called the Jan. 6 panel's focus on the tour a "smear campaign," and suggested the group had taken photos of the Rayburn subway lawmakers use to get to and from votes and included children who had just visited the House gift shop.

"The Capitol Police already put this false accusation to bed, yet the Committee is undermining the Capitol Police and doubling down on their smear campaign, releasing so-called evidence of a tour of the House Office Buildings," Loudermilk said in a statement.

"As Capitol Police confirmed, nothing about this visit with constituents was suspicious. The pictures show children holding bags from the House gift shop, which was open to visitors, and taking pictures of the Rayburn train," he continued. "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 called the committee's focus on the tour "irresponsible," and said it has led to death threats to the congressman, his family and staff.

In his interview with reporters, Loudermilk said he was hosting a family and their guests from Georgia in the Capitol that day because restaurants in D.C. were closed due to the pandemic. As for the photos of a staircase, Loudermilk said the man was interested in a golden eagle sconce on the wall.

The congressman added that he did not personally know the man on the tour who the following day made threats against lawmakers, but he condemned that violent rhetoric, pointing out that he and other Republicans were targeted in the 2107 congressional baseball shooting.

"Look, I'm somebody who has suffered from violence of somebody deranged by political rhetoric. Five years ago yesterday was when somebody walked on the baseball field and tried to kill me and several of my colleagues," Loudermilk said.

"No, I'm totally opposed and I condemn that kind of language. But no one in that group showed that type of aggression that day."

The video released by the committee shows the tour in three House office buildings — generally considered part of the Capitol complex — but not inside the Capitol building itself.

In a statement accompanying the new video footage, Jan. 6 Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., repeated his request that Loudermilk answer questions about the 10-person group that toured appeared to tour the Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn office buildings.

"Based on our review of surveillance video, social media activity, and witness accounts, we understand you led a tour group through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021. That group stayed for several hours, despite the complex being closed to the public on that day," Thompson said. 

“Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints.”

On Wednesday, the Jan. 6 panel also released video footage from the man on Loudermilk's tour as he and a companion walked to Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally on the White House Ellipse before the attack. The companion shows off his American flag which appears to be attached to a metal pole.

"It's for a certain person," the companion says as he pretends to charge with the flag pole as if in battle.

"Somebody special! Somebody special!" the man who is filming replies.

Police officers would later say that Trump supporters violently attacked them during the Capitol riot with flag poles, clubs, fire extinguishers, mace, bear spray and other objects and chemicals.

The Jan. 6 committee is set to hold its third public hearing on Thursday. It will be focused on Trump's pressure campaign on his vice president, Mike Pence, to stop certification of Joe Biden's victory.