House Republicans, under the guidance of Speaker Mike Johnson, began posting the Jan. 6 videos online, the first wave of a promised 40,000-plus hours that will be available to the public.
The first tranche of roughly 90 hours of footage was released Friday via the Committee on House Administration (CHA), and the rollout will continue over the next several months.
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"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," Johnson said in a statement.
"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. In the meantime, a public viewing room will ensure that every citizen can view every minute of the videos uncensored."
In announcing the website, Johnson said videos will be added over the weekend.
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"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," Johnson added.
Also, faces of private citizens will be blurred to "avoid any persons from being targeted for retaliation," Johnson said, adding that another 5% of footage will be redacted to protect Capitol security interests.
The release comes after Johnson passed a continuing resolution with bipartisan support, a move that reportedly didn't sit well with House conservatives, a cadre of whom ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for doing the same thing early last month. While Johnson got a pass on the stopgap, conservatives demanded the full Jan. 6 release, multiple outlets reported, including Axios.
"Doing what he said he would do. Good," Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, posted.
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CHA is also making the videos available via appointment viewing on terminals.
"Priority access will be given to Members of Congress, defendants charged with crimes related to January 6, 2021, and their counsel, and individuals who were physically harmed on January 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol and their counsel, U.S. news outlets (not limited to press accredited through congressional galleries), non-profit organizations, and the general public, in that order," CHA wrote.
McCarthy rebuffed calls to release the full tranche of videos, instead electing to limit the viewing to some media members, including Tucker Carlson, legal defendants and certain groups — but only in the Capitol.
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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