Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) told reporters on Thursday that prosecutors are “reviewing the footage” of alleged “reconnaissance tours” given before the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
In the aftermath of the now-infamous riots that ignited Capitol Hill on January 6, a coalition of House Democrats called for an investigation into “the suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 — the day before the attacks on the Capitol.”
The accusation was first leveled by New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill, who said unnamed colleagues “had groups coming through the Capitol” on January 5 in “a reconnaissance for the next day.” In the request for an investigation, the lawmakers said the attackers “seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex.”
The letter said those members or their aides had witnessed “an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex, on Jan. 5, which is unusual given that public tours of the Capitol ended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Now, Rep. Tim Ryan has confirmed that any footage of the alleged tours is “in the hands of the U.S. attorney here in D.C.” Thursday evening, Ryan spoke with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow about the investigation but did not provide further details.
“The U.S. attorney has the investigation going on now. I’m sure they’re looking at the footage … so that’s in their hands now,” Ryan said. “Anybody who’s dealt with the U.S. attorney during an investigation — it’s like a black box, you don’t really know what’s going on but you know it’s happening.”
Nearly two months after the deadly demonstration, tensions in D.C. remain high. In testimony before the House Appropriations subcommittee, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said militia groups involved in the riots have threatened an attack on the complex during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union joint address to Congress.
“We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union,” Pittman said. “Based on that information, we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities,” she said.