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Republicans Threaten To Release Capitol Police Video Taken On Jan 5 — Dems: ‘Do It’

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Kevin McCarthy

House Republicans are threatening to release surveillance footage taken by Capitol Police on Jan. 5, 2021, in an effort to clear the name of a GOP lawmaker accused of leading tours the day before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, but they are on a pickle: They don’t have the footage, and Democrats, who have reviewed the video, are happy for them to do it.

As reported by The Hill, the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol last week “asked Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) to voluntarily speak with Houe investigators, saying they have reviewed footage of the lawmaker showing visitors around the Capitol.”

“The accusation was a direct challenge to the Republicans on the House Administration Committee, of which Loudermilk is a member, who have long sought the release of the tapes to counter accusations that they led reconnaissance tours in the Capitol ahead of the attack,” The Hill reports.

But Republicans assert that the video “does not support these repeated Democrat accusations about so-called ‘reconnaissance’ tours.”

“Committee Minority staff have reviewed all footage in question and have confirmed no ‘reconnaissance tours’ occurred,” ranking member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) wrote in a Friday letter to the Capitol Police Board, according to The Hill.

“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,” he added.

Releasing the footage, however, will require a serious outlay of cash: The external hard drive they would need to store the hundreds of hours of footage could cost as much as $20,000. But Republicans are not willing to spend the money, The Hill stated.

Meanwhile, the House Jan. 6 panel last week challenged its colleagues’ description of the footage showing “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on.”

“The Select Committee’s review of evidence directly contradicts that denial,” Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) wrote in the letter to Loudermilk, The hill reported.

After the letter, the House Administration Committee and Loudermilk put out a statement saying he was simply giving a tour to a constituent family, during which they never entered the Capitol.

In an interview given on Jan. 6 as the attack was unfolding, Loudermilk referenced that he had “about a dozen people up here” when asked if he had a chance to talk to any of those involved in the rally.

“They definitely were peaceful people, people that we met at church, they were supporters of the president, they just wanted to be up here as if it was another rally. We’ve actually checked on them to make sure they are safe,” Loudermilk said in an interview with Georgia-based WBHF.

Capitol Police have said they will not release the footage.

Read the full report on The Hill.