House Speaker: More January 6 Footage To Be Released Soon

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced Monday that more surveillance footage from the January 6, 2021, breach at the U.S. Capitol will be released soon, revealing that approximately 13,000 hours of the total 40,000 hours have been uploaded so far. The release of the footage, which has been a priority for House Republicans, is part of a massive undertaking that requires significant time and resources.

“We’re releasing them … as fast as we possibly can,” Johnson told Newsmax, explaining that new staff had to be hired to process and upload the tapes. “It’s a 24-hour operation, and all that tape will be out there as soon as possible.”

Initially, the House GOP had planned to blur some faces to protect innocent individuals who were merely present in the building during the breach. However, they have since decided to release the footage unedited, as much of it is already available to the public.

House Administration Committee Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) previously stated that his office would “significantly expedite CCTV footage releases” and make them available to the American public within the next few months. The first batch of videos was uploaded to the committee’s Rumble page in early March.

Former President Donald Trump, who is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for 2024, praised Speaker Johnson for having the “Courage and Fortitude to release all of the J6 Tapes.” However, the decision to release the footage has faced criticism from Democrats, with Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) calling it “irresponsible and dangerous” and claiming it prioritizes partisanship over safety.

The release of the Jan. 6 tapes has been a contentious issue, with U.S. Capitol Police officials warning that it could pose a security risk for the building. In March 2023, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) provided some of the tapes to then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who used the footage to argue that the Capitol breach was not an insurrection, as claimed by House Democrats.

As of this month, more than 1,300 people have been charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol breach, with around 500 sentenced to incarceration and over 900 convicted. President Trump has vowed to free the “January 6 hostages” if he is re-elected, referring to defendants who were sentenced in relation to the incident.

The ongoing release of the Jan. 6 tapes is likely to continue generating intense debate and speculation about the events of that day and their implications for national security and the political landscape.

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