Speaker Johnson begins releasing 40,000 hours of Jan 6 footage

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said the House of Representatives will release more than 40,000 hours of footage taken at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when protesters angry about the 2020 election results stormed the halls of Congress.

Some video is already available to the public as of Friday, with the bulk of it to be released gradually over time, Johnson said.

“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,” Johnson said in a statement.

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“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 continued, “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.”

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Johnson said that roughly 5% of the footage would likely be held back due to “sensitive security information related to the building architecture,” and that some faces would be blurred “to avoid any persons from being targeted for retaliation of any kind.”

It is being made public through the House Administration Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight. 

Johnson shared the link to the public website on his X page on Friday afternoon.

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Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had made clips from Jan. 6 available to qualified individuals like the media, legal defendants and certain groups in September, to be viewed under security measures at the Capitol.

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But hardliners in the House GOP Conference have been pushing for the full tranche to be released to the public.

“Doing what he said he would do. Good,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, wrote on X after Johnson’s announcement.