Tag: barry loudermilk
Newly Released Footage Raises Questions About Capitol ‘Tour’ On Day Before Riot (VIDEO)

Newly Released Footage Raises Questions About Capitol ‘Tour’ On Day Before Riot (VIDEO)

A man who appears to be seen taking photos of security checkpoints and hallways in the U.S. Capitol during a tour led by Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk on January 5, 2021, is also allegedly seen—and heard—in footage captured from January 6 where he is outside of the Capitol screaming threats at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Reps. Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The committee released segments of security footage from the tour on Wednesday morning, arriving fresh on the heels of an announcement by U.S. Capitol Police chief Tom Manger stating that the department found “no evidence” that Loudermilk led a “reconnaissance tour” of the complex with supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The man who appears to be taking photographs has not yet been identified publicly but according to multiple outlets including CNN, he has been interviewed by the select committee.

Committee chairman Bennie Thompson first asked Loudermilk to cooperate with the probe voluntarily this May, giving him an opportunity to discuss the video footage the panel discovered during its review of key Capitol surveillance video.

In a statement, USCP Chief Manger said footage reviewed by the department did show Loudermilk with a group of 12 people that initially ticked up to 15 as they walked through a number of office buildings around the U.S. Capitol. Manger said the guests did not “appear in any tunnels” leading to the Capitol itself.

The committee’s release appears to challenge that narrative, or at the very least, point out behavior it still deems highly suspicious.

“The foregoing information raises questions the Select Committee must answer,” Thompson wrote in a letter to Loudermilk on Wednesday morning.

“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 House and Senate office buildings in advance of January 6, 2021,” Thompson wrote. “For example, 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 individuals accompanying Loudermilk, the committee noted, “photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints.”

Including an image in the letter of an individual appearing to photograph a staircase in the basement of the Longworth House Office Building, Thompson notes Loudermilk is just nearby talking to other members of the group in the background.

In the nearly three-minute-long video shared by the committee, the man believed to be part of the Capitol complex tour given by Loudermilk on the 5th is recorded by a friend on the morning of the 6th.

They are near the Washington Monument when his friend shows him a flagpole he’s carrying with a sharpened end.

“That’s for a certain person,” the companion tells the man.

“That’s right, that’s for somebody special, somebody special,” the man responds.

On the day of the Capitol assault, that same man taking photographs of the halls a day before is excitedly heard clamoring about “patriots” converging on the Capitol in a recorded video.

“There’s no escape Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, we’re coming for you. We’re coming in like white on rice for Pelosi, Nadler, Schumer, even you AOC. We’re coming to take you out and pull you out by your hairs.

How about that Pelosi? Mind as well make yourself another appointment. When I get done with you you gonna need a shine up on top of that bald head,” he says.

The video also shows two photos obtained by the committee that appear to have been taken by the same person. One photo is of a nameplate for Rep. Jerry Nadler, something that would typically appear just outside of a lawmaker’s office. Another photo captured the physical directory of Democratic majority members.

Before the video came out, on Tuesday, Loudermilk accused the committee of falsely accusing him of giving reconnaissance tours.

“To my knowledge, no one that visited my office on January 5 was involved in any illegal activity on Januar 6, so if the committee has the evidence they should release it, not just make accusations,” Loudermilk told CNN.

A representative for U.S. Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Punchbowl News was the first to report that the committee had this footage.

When calls for an investigation were first raised by a group of more than 30 Democrats about Loudermilk’s tours, he issued a swift denial and filed a House Ethics complaint against Democrats who demanded a closer examination.

Loudermilk slammed the Democrat's request for an investigation as a “stain” on Congress. He also voted to overturn the certification of the 2020 election results on Jan. 6 after the attack.

During the riot Loudermilk, according to texts obtained by the select committee, sent a message to Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows.

‘It’s really bad up here on the Hill. They have breached the Capitol,” he wrote.

Loudermilk has defended the tour he gave of the Capitol on January 5 as something he did for “a constituent family with young children” merely eager to meet with their congressman.

A member of Democratic Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García’s staff, deputy communications director and digital director Ben Kamens, said on Twitter Wednesday that he saw the group identified by the committee in the Capitol Tunnel between the Longworth and Cannon and Capitol building between 1 and 2 p.m. on January 5.

Kamens said they were unescorted. He has already provided this information to the committee and law enforcement.

Kamens told Daily Kos over email Wednesday that he remotely interviewed voluntarily with the committee in February and sat for just under an hour.

“I approached one of them and asked them to put on a mask because people that work here have pre-existing conditions and it was before the wide availability of vaccines,” Kamens said.

Indeed, the Capitol building was closed to visitors and anyone on unofficial business.

“It was a group of mostly older women [in their] 40s to 50s and young men, late teens early 20s that I saw,” Rep. Garcia’s communications director said Wednesday. “I wouldn’t have gone that way if it wasn’t an intern’s first day and I wasn’t showing her how to get around on our way to get her ID badge.”

At the time Kamens said he witnessed this, he was working as a congressional aide to Rep. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat.

Kim inadvertently made headlines after the insurrection. He was spotted cleaning up debris from the floor of the rotunda after the building was secured.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who has experienced routine harassment by the former president’s supporters and Republican members of Congress, responded to the video release in a tweet on Wednesday.

Rep. Loudermilk did not respond immediately to a request for comment Wednesday.

He released a statement late Wednesday afternoon, however, accusing the committee of “doubling down on a smear campaign” against him and claimed to have received death threats as a result of the footage’s release.

The Georgia Republican also said he did not recognize the man making threats toward Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, and Ocasio-Cortez.

CBS News reported on Wednesday that it reached Al Foley, identified as “one of the Rep. Loudermilk’s constituents who toured the Capitol with the Congressman” on January 5 and was previously interviewed by the House Select Committee.

Foley told CBS that suggestions it was a reconnaissance tour were “the farthest thing from the truth.” The allegation, Foley said, was “disgusting.”

A spokesman for the committee told Daily Kos on Wednesday that he did not believe Foley was the man taking photos of the stairwell leading up to the Longworth Building.

In another clip obtained by NBC News on Wednesday that was not a part of the original three-minute clip released by the committee, the same man seen taking pictures during the tour with Loudermilk on January 5 filmed another part of his visit in the Capitol.

In related news, in a court filing on Wednesday, Proud Boy Zachary Rehl entered a document onto the record that generated a considerable stir this spring: an extensive plan to attack and occupy federal buildings. Proud Boy ringleader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, who is now facing seditious conspiracy charges for crimes connected to January 6, allegedly cited the plan during the attack.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Select Panel: Evidence 'Directly Contradicts' Denial Of January 5 Capitol Tours

Select Panel: Evidence 'Directly Contradicts' Denial Of January 5 Capitol Tours

The House Select Committee, a bipartisan congressional panel looking into the Capitol insurrection, sent a letter on Thursday requesting an interview with a House Republican, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who it said led a tour through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021 — the day before a pro-Trump mob stormed the halls of Congress.

In the letter to Loudermilk, the select committee’s chairman and vice-chairwoman, Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY), said the panel had seen evidence that “directly contradicts” the claim made by Republicans on the Committee on House Administration — “of which you’re a member” — that they had reviewed security footage of the days before the Capitol attack and concluded that “[t]here were no tours, no large groups, [and] no one with MAGA hats on.”

“However, the Select Committee’s review of evidence directly contradicts that denial,” they added. “Based on our review of evidence in the Select Committee’s possession, we believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021.”

“We propose meeting with you on the week of May 23, 2022,” the letter stated, asking that Loudermilk have a sit-down with the panel sometime next week.

In a joint statement with Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the Committee on House Administration, Loudermilk, one of 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election results, accused the select committee, which he denounced as partisan, of “pushing a verifiably false narrative.”

"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,'” they said. “The family never entered the Capitol building.”

"The Select Committee is once again pushing a verifiably false narrative that Republicans conducted 'reconnaissance tours' on January 5th,” the statement read. “The facts speak for themselves; 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 January 6th.”

The select committee’s invitation comes over a year after several House Democrats, particularly Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), accused Republicans of heading tours in the days before January 6.

“[There were] members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5th for reconnaissance for the next day,” Sherrill said in a January 12, 2021, virtual town hall, according to CNN, stirring up a storm in Congress.

"If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said, reacting to Sherrill’s allegations.

Although Sherrill didn’t name any of these congressional representatives, House Republicans took issue with her statement and demanded she provide evidence to back up her claim.

CNN also pointed out that it was Loudermilk who filed an ethics complaint against Sherill and 33 other Democrats for “making allegations about Republican-led reconnaissance tours without any evidence.”

"A Member of Congress accusing another Member of committing a crime, without evidence, is morally reprehensible and a stain on this institution," Loudermilk fumed in his ethics complaint. "My Republican colleagues and I will not sit by while Democrats accuse their colleagues of treason for political gain. This type of conduct must not be tolerated."

Loudermilk is one of several Republican members of the House that the select committee is seeking to depose.

The committee has issued subpoenas to four other House Republicans — Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Scott Perry (R-PA) — neither of whom have confirmed their attendance.

GOP Defends NRA Despite Evidence Of Waste, Fraud, And Abuse

GOP Defends NRA Despite Evidence Of Waste, Fraud, And Abuse

Republican lawmakers are calling a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday against the National Rifle Association an attack on gun ownership while ignoring the charges of "fraud and abuse" contained in the filing.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise tweeted in response to the suit: "Violent crime is skyrocketing in NYC. What's New York's Democrat Attorney General focused on? Launching politically motivated attacks against the Second Amendment & NRA. Make no mistake: Making it harder for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves is the far-left's agenda."

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This Week In Crazy: Ron Paul Is Ready For Secession

This Week In Crazy: Ron Paul Is Ready For Secession

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Ralph Peters

Only 9 percent of Republicans believe that Barack Obama is a Christian, but that doesn’t stop the far right from describing the president in Biblical terms.

The latest Republican to dip into the New Testament for an anti-Obama attack is Fox News strategic analyst and Vladimir Putin fanboy Ralph Peters. Appearing on America’s Newsroom Wednesday, Peters broke down President Obama’s efforts to fight ISIS. You could say that he disapproves.

“Christian women are kidnapped and raped and raped again, our president does nothing! Christians are driven from their homes in the Middle East by the hundreds of thousands, slaughtered by the tens of thousands, and our president does nothing!” Peters raged. “He is the reincarnation of Pontius Pilate washing his hands, but this blood’s not coming off.”

Shockingly, Peters is not even the first conservative to compare President Obama to the guy who killed Jesus.

But on the plus side, the next season of The History Channel’s The Bible promises to be just as controversial as the first.

4. Barry Loudermilk
Weeks after an unfortunate case of vaccine trutherism struck the Republican Party, certain politicians are still having trouble getting the junk science out of their systems.

The latest official to stick his foot in his mouth on the subject is freshman U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA). Asked about the entirely fictional link between vaccines and autism at a town hall meeting, Loudermilk cited his own personal experience.

“I believe it’s the parents’ decision whether to immunize or not. And so I’m looking at [my] wife – most of our children, we didn’t immunize. They’re healthy,” he explained. “Of course, home schooling, we didn’t have to get the mandatory immunization.”

Right Wing Watch has the video:

The fun didn’t stop there. At the same meeting, Loudermilk told a different constituent that we should not line the southern border with improvised explosive devices, “because there’s a lot of Americans who work [there] and kids around the border as well.” (The morality of blowing non-citizens to smithereens was not discussed.)

The race to be Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) running mate is already underway, and Rep. Loudermilk is lapping the field.

3. Michele Fiore

Pictured: Not a tumor (Phil Parsons/Flickr)

Pictured: Not a tumor (Phil Parsons/Flickr)

Nevada assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R), who was last seen trying to arm the “hot little girls on campus” with guns, checks in at number three for a bit of medical misinformation that makes Rep. Loudermilk look like Jonas Salk.

On her radio show last weekend, Fiore explained how her new “terminally ill bill” could revolutionize the health care system.

“If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus, and we can put a pic line into your body, and we’re flushing — let’s say salt-water, sodium cardonate [sic] — through that line, and flushing out the fungus,” she said, as reported by Jon Ralston. “These are some procedures that are not FDA approved in America that are very inexpensive, cost-effective.”

In case this was not already clear, cancer is not a fungus, and it cannot be cured with sodium bicarbonate (the compound that Fiore was presumably trying to name, and better known as baking soda).

And in case this was also not clear: Do not get your treatment from Fiore’s home health care company.

2. Vito Barbieri

Vito Barbieri

Add Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri (R) to the list of politicians who struggled with basic biology this week.

The Idaho legislature is currently considering a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication via a video chat. During a Monday hearing, Barbieri resolved to leave no stone unturned.

The Associated Pressreports:

Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who said she has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill. She said some colonoscopy patients may swallow a small device to give doctors a closer look at parts of their colon.

“Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?” Barbieri asked.

Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.

The bill passed the House State Affairs Committee 13-4 — Barbieri voted in favor of it — meaning that a new barrier will soon be erected to women’s health in Idaho. But at least Barbieri — who sits on the board of a right-wing “crisis pregnancy center” — got a valuable lesson in basic anatomy.
1. Ron Paul

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

None of this week’s fake physicians could top this week’s “winner,” Dr. Ron Paul.

In audio uncovered by BuzzFeed News this week, the former congressman and presidential candidate discussed the anti-war contingent in Congress with longtime associate Lew Rockwell.

“I was always annoyed with it in Congress because we had an anti-war unofficial group, a few libertarian Republicans and generally the Black Caucus and others did not — they are really against war because they want all of that money to go to food stamps for people here,” Paul explained.

Rockwell, of course, is amenable to Paul’s “peace for food stamps” theory; he was intimately involved with Paul’s infamous newsletters, which suggested renaming New York City “Welfaria,” among other racist attacks.

There is good news for Paul, though. If he’s really that offended by the Congressional Black Caucus’ attempt to fund food security for the nation’s poor, he could always join the apparently thriving secession movement (a phenomenon that Paul believes is already taking place, and is “good news”).

Meanwhile, George W. Bush can breathe a sigh of relief; there’s no chance that he’ll be the most embarrassing family member of a presidential candidate in 2016.

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments!

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