House Republicans announced on Friday that tens of thousands of hours of video footage from the January 6 Capitol riot have been made available to the public. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who led the declassification effort, celebrated the rolling release of the recorded evidence as a return of “truth and transparency” to Congress, shedding light on the true events of that controversial day.
“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,” said Speaker Johnson in a statement. “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. In the meantime, a public viewing room will ensure that every citizen can view every minute of the videos uncensored.”
He went on: “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.”
An X post from Johnson directed interested parties to the Speaker’s website, which will be gradually updated to include more footage.
Follow the link below to view the January 6th tapes for yourself.
To restore America’s trust and faith in their Government we must have transparency. This is another step towards keeping the promises I made when I was elected to be your Speaker.
This website will be updated…
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) November 17, 2023
Roughly 5 percent of the videos will remain classified due to “sensitive security information related to the building architecture.”
Friday’s video dump is the culmination of a years-long effort by Republican activists and lawmakers to shed light on the events surrounding the Capitol riot, which has become a major inflection point in American politics.
Critics of the prevailing media narrative have argued a full disclosure would reveal that what transpired inside the building was far more peaceful than the public has been led to believe. Many also suspect that video evidence will expose Capitol Police and federal agents for permitting or even instigating the violent conflicts that took place that day, which could be instrumental in the trials of those arrested for attending Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally.
Indeed, some of the footage already released shows protesters having peaceful and friendly interactions with police guiding them through the building—a far cry from the hostile scenes witnessed outside.
BREAKING: In this never-before-seen footage of the January 6th insurrection, you can see capitol police officers fighting for their lives as the violent insurrectionists endanger American democracy in real-time pic.twitter.com/DDqPWafrHI
— George (@BehizyTweets) November 17, 2023
JAN 6: MOSTLY PEACEFUL?
I don't know about you guys, but this doesn't look very violent to me. pic.twitter.com/X67rEQpJTs
— Anthony Hughes (@CallMeAntwan) November 17, 2023
Johnson’s predecessor, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), had previously shared an additional 41,000 hours of footage with then-Fox News Host Tucker Carlson, allowing previously unaired videos to be made public as well.