Newly-elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) has followed through on another one of his promises — releasing the security footage from the Capitol protests on January 6, 2021.
The tapes were made public on Friday, and were published on a website for the House of Representatives. Although not all of the footage was released, the website currently contains five pages of videos with roughly 20 videos on each page.
Johnson made the announcement on Friday afternoon via a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Today, I am keeping my promise to the American people and making all the January 6th tapes available to ALL Americans,” Johnson wrote moments before releasing the CCTV footage.
After the footage was released, Johnson made another post on X sharing the link and explaining his reasoning behind making the tapes public.
“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,” he wrote.
This news comes months after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) provided all 41,000 hours of security footage from the protests to then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson. While Carlson shared some of the footage on his show before being fired, this decision from McCarthy was widely criticized because he had initially promised to make the footage available to the American people — not one news anchor.
On his show at the time, Carlson aired never-before-seen videos of the infamous “QAnon Shaman,” Jacob Chansley, casually strolling the halls of Congress during the protests with Capitol Police escorts.
In his commentary on the video, Carlson argued that Capitol Police officers acted as “tour guides” for Chansley.
The footage “does not support the claim that January 6th was an insurrection. In fact, it demolished that claim,” Carlson said, referring to many of the protesters as “sightseers” rather than “insurrectionists.”
Clips of the new footage are already going viral on X, including one that appears to show Capitol Police officers leading a “protester” away in handcuffs, then removing those handcuffs and fist-bumping the unidentified man before letting him go in a hallway without any witnesses. The video has led to speculation that the “protester” was actually an instigator and ally of the police.
Other videos show the peaceful nature of the majority of the protests, including clips of protesters casually walking down the hallways in Congress with Capitol Police standing around and not taking any action to stop them.
Another clip even shows Capitol Police shaking hands with protesters and guiding them through the Capitol, prompting commentator Tim Pool to assert that the “police facilitated January 6th.”
“This is why they withheld the tapes,” Pool argued, adding: “The J6 committee should be censured and expelled for lying to the public.”