Mike Johnson, the new Republican House Speaker, announced on X that more than 40,000 hours of security footage from the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol will be made available to the public. Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, emphasised the importance of truth and transparency, fulfilling his promise to release the tapes for all Americans to access.
The Capitol Hill security videos will be released in batches on a public website, providing millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organisations, and the media with the opportunity to independently assess the events of that day. Johnson’s decision aims to allow individuals to form their own conclusions rather than relying on the interpretation of a limited group of government officials.
The extensive surveillance footage has previously undergone review by a congressional committee investigating the attack carried out by supporters of former President Donald Trump. These individuals sought to disrupt the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
The House of Representatives select committee, following its examination of the footage, recommended charging Trump with insurrection and other offences related to the Capitol riot. Trump is scheduled to face trial in Washington in March, facing charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results.
To protect the privacy of private citizens, Johnson assured that faces would be blurred in the released footage, aiming to prevent any individuals from being targeted for retaliation. Additionally, sensitive Capitol building security information captured in the videos will be withheld.
This move to release the surveillance footage marks a significant step towards transparency and public access to critical information surrounding the events of the Capitol attack, offering an unfiltered perspective on the events that unfolded on that historic day.