WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - There is a growing list of lawmakers who are demanding to know if members of Congress helped provide critical information that assisted the people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. At issue are tour groups spotted inside the building the day before the siege.
Some lawmakers say they witnessed a high volume of groups touring the Capitol on Jan. 5 which they say is suspicious because tours have been cancelled at the Capitol since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to the acting Chief of the Capitol Police and the acting Sergeant at Arms of the House and Senate, 30 members of Congress, including Virginia's Abigal Spanberger and Elania Luria, are demanding an investigation to find out if those tours helped provide intelligence for people who stormed the building the next day.
Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey is leading the group.
"I’m going to see that they’re held accountable and if necessary see that they don’t serve in Congress," Rep. Sherrill said. "Those members of Congress who I saw had groups coming through the Congress on Jan. 5th on reconnaissance for the next day."
Lawmakers are also sounding the alarm over a growing number of campsites on Capitol Hill. D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote the acting Head of the National Park Service, citing them as a violation of federal law and possible safety concern.
The former Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said he thinks the focus and blame should stay on the rioters.
"I’ve heard that criticism and I think it’s made by individuals who don’t know how the system works," Wolf says. "The National Special Security Event, NSSE, that is in place now through this week into next is run by professional law enforcement individuals, by Secret Service command and controlled by Secret Service."
In response to pushback from Republicans over new metal detectors at the House door, Speaker Nancy Pelosi now says on Jan. 21, the House will make a rule change and fine members of Congress who try to walk around them.
The first offense is $5,000 and the second is $10,000. The fines will be deducted directly from their salaries.