- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Jan. 6 committee requested an interview from Rep. Barry Loudermilk on Thursday, citing concerns over the congressman meeting with constituents in the Capitol complex a day before the riot.

The Democratic-led panel told the Georgia Republican its members think he has information about the riot that could be related to a tour he allegedly led on Jan. 5, when the complex was mostly closed to the public.

“We write to seek your voluntary cooperation in advancing our investigation,” the members wrote to Mr. Loudermilk. “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.”

Mr. Loudermilk accused the committee of being a “political circus” and said it leaked to the press its letter to him before he had received the notice himself.

“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,’” Mr. Loudermilk said in a statement.

The congressman did not lead a tour of any kind, according to his spokesman, though Mr. Loudermilk met with a group of constituents in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building.

Mr. Loudermilk is the seventh Republican with whom the committee has sought an interview.

Last week, the committee formally subpoenaed five Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, over their refusal to voluntarily testify before the panel.

The panel also targeted Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Mo Brooks of Alabama.

Some committee members claim that the Republicans were in contact with the White House before the attack and were potentially involved in coordinating and planning the riot.

Seven Democrats sit on the committee, which is chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.

Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois are the only two Republicans who are on the committee. Both are among the most vocal critics of former President Donald Trump in the GOP conference.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to seat on the panel two Republicans whom Mr. McCarthy had picked — Mr. Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana. Mrs. Pelosi disagreed with their objections to certifying the 2020 election in favor of President Biden.

Since then, the committee has, Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger aside, received little to no cooperation from Republican lawmakers, nearly all of whom see it as a partisan tool.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated where the Jan. 6 committee said the alleged tour took place. The committee said the alleged tour was in the Capitol complex.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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