House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is maintaining his commitment to release nearly all of the video surveillance footage from the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
“When I ran for Speaker, I promised to make accessible to the American people the 44,000 hours of video from Capitol Hill security taken on January 6, 2021. Truth and transparency are critical. Today, we will begin immediately posting video on a public website and move as quickly as possible to add to the website nearly all of the footage, more than 40,000 hours,” Johnson noted in an X post.
“In the meantime, a public viewing room will ensure that every citizen can view every minute of the videos uncensored,” he continued.
The faces of private citizens will be obscured to prevent any “targeted retaliation,” as stated by his office, according to the UK’s Daily Mail. Additionally, approximately 5 percent of the footage will be withheld to safeguard sensitive security information.
“I commend Chairman Loudermilk and his team for their diligent work to ensure the thousands of hours of videos are promptly processed to be uploaded to the committee’s public website,” Johnson noted further on the X platform.
“Processing will involve blurring the faces of private citizens on the yet unreleased tapes to avoid any persons from being targeted for retaliation of any kind and segregating an estimated 5% of the videos that may involve sensitive security information related to the building architecture,” he said.
As of early Saturday morning, around 90 hours of video footage had been made public. You can access and view the footage here. Social media saw a notable influx of reactions following Johnson’s announcement.
Eat it Liz Cheney!!!
— Myrna 💋💄 (@GigaBeers) November 17, 2023
Adam Kinzinger just pissed himself.
— Gunther Eagleman™ (@GuntherEagleman) November 17, 2023
This is actually a great disturbance in the Force. Millions of liberal “voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced”
— It's 🇺🇸 Tiff 🇺🇸 (@TiffMoodNukes) November 17, 2023
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a key figure in the push to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and a driving force in the campaign to release all the video footage, commended Johnson for his decision.
“You won’t always agree with @SpeakerJohnson – but know this: HE WON’T LIE. If he says he is going to do something, he is going to do it. Thank you for keeping your word on the J6 tapes, Mr. Speaker. It is a refreshing thing in the Swamp of DC,” he tweeted.
“Doing what he said he would do. Good,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, added on X.
Earlier this year, while still serving as Speaker, McCarthy shared some footage with then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Axios co-founder Mike Allen reported, “Carlson TV producers were on Capitol Hill last week to begin digging through the trove, which includes multiple camera angles from all over Capitol grounds. Excerpts will begin airing in the coming weeks.” Subsequently, various media organizations sent a letter to House leadership, demanding equal access to the footage. Gaetz stated that McCarthy agreed to this arrangement to secure the support of both him and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), two Republicans among about 20 who initially withheld their support, delaying McCarthy’s election as Speaker.
“The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened on January 6th. We have demanded to see all the footage. Transparency is coming,” Gaetz said. “Every time from the JFK files, to 9/11, to now January 6th. It’s our own government, our own Department of Justice that seems to stand in the way of transparency.”
“If we had cameras on the floor, my suspicion is we would have far better attendance during debates that impact the lives of our fellow Americans,” he said.