Rep. Mikie Sherrill claimed on Tuesday that she saw members of Congress leading a "reconnaissance" tour prior to the violent Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
In a Facebook Live stream, Sherrill said that, without naming names, she will make sure the individuals are "held accountable" for their actions in allegedly helping the insurrections who were incited by Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud. She added that if necessary, she will also make sure these people do not serve in Congress. Politico reports that she and other Hosue Democrats are now demanding information from Capitol security officials regarding these "suspicious" visitors, who were supposedly given a tour on Jan. 5.
"Many of the Members who signed this letter ... witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5," wrote the lawmakers in a letter addressed to the acting House and Senate sergeants-at-arms. "The visitors encountered by some of the Members of Congress on this letter appeared to be associated with the rally at the White House the following day. ... Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex. The presence of these groups within the Capitol Complex was indeed suspicious."
As the letter explains, tours of the Capitol have been prohibited ever since the COVID-19 pandemic closed down most of the country back in March. Some had even reported the tour to security ahead of the riot the next day, citing security concerns. Security officials have been asked whether there are any logbooks that shows any visitors who attended the alleged tour, and for those who admitted them to the building to also be named.
The New York Times reports that three officers have been suspended following the events of Jan. 6, and 17 additional staff members are under investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility. The inspector general of the Capitol Police is also looking to open a big investigation into any security breaches connected to the siege, which left five individuals dead.