Thirty members of Congress submitted a letter requesting an investigation into what they called “suspicious tours” of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday last week, a day before the rally that turned into a violent riot.
A letter signed by thirty members of the Congress was submitted to the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Capitol Police, asking them to investigate the “suspicious tours” that occurred a day before the breach to the U.S. Capitol.
Earlier on Wednesday, Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NY) claimed in Facebook Live that “some of her Republican Congressional colleagues led people through the United States Capitol last Tuesday on what appeared to be a ‘reconnaissance’ mission ahead of Wednesday’s attack.”
"Visitors aren't allowed in the Capitol complex," Rep. Mikie Sherrill says about the "suspicious" Capitol tours the day before the riot. "The only reason you'd have a visitor is on official business. So to see these groups around the Capitol complex was really striking." pic.twitter.com/4YMbJCve70
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 14, 2021
Sherrill also added, “I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him, those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5 for reconnaissance for the next day.”
In addition to this, Sherrill also said that those members of Congress who incident the violent crowd and attempted to help Trump “undermine our democracy” would be held accountable.
Despite these claims, Rep. Sherrill did not drop any names of her colleagues nor gave any specific evidence to support her claims. She also did not provide any further details even when the media pressed her. However, she did tell Fox News she and other members of Congress were “requesting an investigation right now with certain agencies.” But she did not accuse any fellow members of Congress of aiding and abetting the protesters that breached the Capitol.
Today I joined with more than 30 of my colleagues in requesting an investigation from the Acting House SAA, Acting Senate SAA, and USCP into the suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex on Jan. 5, 2021 – the day before the attacks on the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/zpPUSUuSrj
— Rep. Mikie Sherrill (@RepSherrill) January 13, 2021
Sherrill and her group released a letter on Wednesday night requesting an investigation into the violence last Wednesday.
In a tweet, Sherrill announced their investigation. She wrote, “many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5.”
She continued that this investigation is unusual for several reasons. First, access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Public tours also ended in March. However, on January 5, a day before the riot, they found tours that are so concerning that even the senior staff questioned the SAA about what was happening.
Sherill then wrote the tours were “noticeable,” “suspicious,” and “concerning.” She continued by saying that she and others claim that these individuals who received tours at the U.S. Capitol days before the riot were “associated with the rally at the White House” that happened on January 6.
Evidence so far, including weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video, suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the US Capitol riot was not just a protest that spiraled out of control, a federal law enforcement official says https://t.co/KMUsBLjBZf
— CNN (@CNN) January 13, 2021
The letter by the members of the Congress requests the SAA, HAA, and the Capitol Police to report if there were logbooks or surveillance videos that document the tours that happened in the Capitol on January 5. They also demanded to know if any agency is considering the possibility that the protesters received help from individuals who work inside.
Meanwhile, according to NBC News, investigators are looking into the possibility that the U.S. Capitol’s attack was planned days and weeks prior to the rally that was held by President Trump. They are also looking at whether the rally coordinators received information indicating the possibility of violence.
Last Tuesday, the FBI, the United States Attorney, and other agencies announced that 160 arrests related to the U.S. Capitol riots were already made at a press conference. They added that “hundreds” more are likely to be arrested. Additional charges are also being given to those who are already in custody. The FBI also promised that there would be a long-term investigation in relation to this matter.