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GOP lawmakers request briefing on Democrats' claims of 'suspicious' Capitol tours before Jan. 6

A group of GOP lawmakers is urging the Justice Department and Capitol Police to update them on a review the agencies are conducting over Democratic claims that some Republicans provided “suspicious” Capitol tours ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 riot.

Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisCapitol Police watchdog calls for boosting countersurveillance House Republicans request hearing with Capitol Police Board for first time since 1945 Bipartisan lawmakers weigh in on post-pandemic health care costs MORE (Ill.), the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, and Reps. Barry LoudermilkBarry LoudermilkHouse Republicans request hearing with Capitol Police Board for first time since 1945 Democrats seek to keep spotlight on Capitol siege GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' MORE (R-Ga.) and Barry Steil (R-Wis.) wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston and acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman raising concerns over what they said was a lack of evidence provided by the Democrats and requesting a “confidential briefing” on the probe’s progress.

“It is our understanding that the accusations included in the letter have prompted an investigation into the validity of its claims. In our capacity as members of the Committee on House Administration, we are deeply concerned about the nature of the allegations, especially considering the lack of evidence that was given in support of the letter’s claims,” they wrote. 

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“In the interest of ensuring transparency and due process, we would like to request a confidential briefing in an appropriate setting to hear from the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s office and the Capitol Police about the status of any ongoing investigation in connection with this matter," they continued. "It is extremely important that there be repercussions for anyone found responsible in connection with these serious allegations.” 

Pro-Trump rioters stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 in a failed attempt to prevent the certification of the Electoral College results from the 2020 presidential race. Days after the insurrection, some Democrats, led by Rep. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillGOP lawmakers request briefing on Democrats' claims of 'suspicious' Capitol tours before Jan. 6 Lawmakers question NCAA over 'disparate treatment' at women's championships NJ lawmakers ask Gannett to stop 'union-busting' efforts at 3 state newspapers MORE (N.J.), said they were concerned that Republicans had provided “reconnaissance” tours to people they believed later participated in the riot. 

“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,” several House Democrats later wrote

The lawmakers say that they witnessed an "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."

Authorities have remained tight-lipped into the probe over the allegations, though the Capitol Police has said it sent thousands of hours of footage of the mob to lawmakers. It was not immediately clear if that footage included any video of the days leading up to the riot.

The Justice Department and FBI declined to comment on the letter from Republicans asking for a briefing. The Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.