Promises Kept: Speaker Johnson Begins Release of Jan. 6 Tapes

The House Republican “gang of eight” that ousted ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy last month can take another victory lap this weekend, having made good on another promise to the American people. On Friday, House Speaker Mike Johnson published the first batch of security footage taken from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as part of a pledge to release more than 40,000 hours of video to the public.

“Today, we will begin immediately posting video on a public website and move as quickly as possible to add nearly all of the footage, more than 40,000 hours,” Johnson said in a statement. “In the meantime, a public viewing room will ensure that every citizen can view every minute of the videos uncensored.”

“This decision will provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.”

Rumors had swirled this week that releasing the Jan. 6 tapes was imminent. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz promised that the public could review the footage themselves. On Friday, Gaetz thanked Johnson in a post on the social media platform X.

“You won’t always agree with [Speaker Johnson] – 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.”

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The footage is being made available to the public through the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight. Only some of the total 44,000 hours of footage are currently available, with the rest expected to be gradually uploaded in the coming days. Johnson shared a link to view the tapes on his social media.

In a statement, the Speaker remarked, “Truth and transparency are critical,” but added that 5 percent of the total footage would continue to be withheld due to “sensitive security information related to the building architecture.” Johnson also said several faces would be blurred in the published footage to prevent retaliation against individuals.

Ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy had previously made footage of the Capitol riot available, but only to specific individuals, including journalists and legal defendants.

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Following the announcement, former President Donald Trump thanked Johnson in a Truth Social post,

“Congratulations to Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson for having the Courage and Fortitude to release all of the J6 Tapes, which will explicitly reveal what really happened on January 6th!”

Earlier this month, Trump issued a statement of support to the protesters currently imprisoned over the riot, calling them “hostages.”

“I call them the J6 hostages, not prisoners. I call them the hostages, what’s happened. And it’s a shame,” Trump said during a campaign event in Texas.

If elected to the White House next year, Trump has vowed to consider pardons for some of the convictions.

Other stories you may want to read:

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