WASHINGTON – A Republican-led House committee on Friday began releasing internal video of the Jan. 6 riots on a public website, with House Speaker Mike Johnson promising to make the footage “available to all Americans.”
“Today, we will immediately begin posting the video to a public website and will move as soon as possible to include all of the more than 40,000 hours of footage on the website,” Johnson, R-La., said in a statement.
“This decision will give millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations and the media the ability to see for themselves what happened that day, instead of relying on the interpretation of a small group of government officials,” he said. Requests for access to specific videos can also be made through the House Administration Committee.
The team began by releasing a 90-hour security video that had already been released to the media.
Rep. Joe Morell, the top Democrat on the House Administration Committee, blasted the footage released Friday.
“One of Speaker Johnson’s first official acts in charge of the agency was to endanger his colleagues, employees, visitors and our country by allowing almost unfettered access to critical Capitol security footage,” Morrell said in a statement. For him to do so over the strong objections of security experts in the Capitol Police is outrageous.”
Capitol Police declined to comment.
According to a senior congressional aide and staffer, the staff will work to review, destroy and release footage that does not compromise security on a rolling basis.
The 40,000 hours of video is expected to be made public “over the next few months,” the aide said, adding that footage that would harass or harass private individuals would not be posted.
Johnson’s announcement comes months after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., gave Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson exclusive access to security video of the Jan. 6 attack.
Barry Loudermilk is the Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee of the Executive Committee said In September, security video terminals of the January 6 riots will be available to representatives of US news organizations, “qualified” non-profit organizations, January 6 defendants and others.
Loudermilk has criticized the House Jan. 6 committee for releasing surveillance footage showing it touring the Capitol on Jan. 5 last year.