This afternoon, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Speaker of the House of Representatives, released a large trove of surveillance tapes recorded during the infamous January 6 Event. This goes further than the exclusive sharing of the tapes to Tucker Carlson by Johnson’s predecessor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Under the terms of this release, anyone willing to subscribe to an online document-storage service can access these recordings.
Johnson announces the current release
Speaker Johnson first announced the release of these tapes on X today at 3:20 p.m. EST:
Laura Loomer, expressing her usual healthy skepticism, offered this post seven minutes later:
Two minutes later, Jake Sherman of Punchbowl shared this image of a more detailed statement the Speaker made:
At 3:38 p.m. EST the virtual “public reading room” was ready.
Five minutes later, John Bresnahan, Sherman’s colleague at Punchbowl, shared this brief statement.
The news has been breaking all over X. Benny Johnson shared the link to the virtual public reading room soon after the Speaker did:
In reply, an account calling itself Tex Trad reminded everyone that the January 6 Committee denied having reviewed any of this footage.
The files seem to be good. One user, nine minutes after the release, found evidence that the Capitol Police were waving people though who had gained entry to the Capitol that day.
The virtual reading room, available here, is a project of the Committee on House Administration, Subcommittee on Oversight. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) serves as its Chairman. The “reading room” is a folder on a House Administration server. Fifty files appear in five pages, all dated September 6, 2023. These files are clearly viewable free-of-charge. But to download them, one must first subscribe to a “cloud storage” service called Box. Plans start at $540 per year for three users, or $180/user-year for more than three.
History of releases
At 4:23 p.m. EST, the Speaker clarified that the reading room would see many updates in the coming weeks.
The full body of these tapes runs to 40,000 hours.
In February of this year, then-Speaker McCarthy shared the 40,000 hours of footage exclusively with Tucker Carlson. Naturally other news outlets demanded the same privilege. McCarthy refused to apologize for giving Carlson the exclusive access.
On September 3, the House Administration Committee announced limited sharing with:
- News outlets in addition to Tucker Carlson (and Fox News), and
- January 6 defendants and their attorneys.
Subsequent to that September announcement, came the drama leading to the:
Then, on or about November 3, came word that the new Speaker would release the tapes – exclusively to Glenn Beck’s outlet, The Blaze. On November 4, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) offered “confirmation” that a “fast-track release” of the footage was in progress.
At about the time the Speaker was posting his announcements, Cami Mondeaux at The Washington Examiner reported further details. This will be a fully public release, not exclusive to any media outlet. Today’s fifty files are only the first tranche. Full posting of the footage will take place over the next several months.
The videos will blur the faces of private citizens to ensure no is “targeted for retaliation of any kind,” the speaker said. Roughly 5% of the video footage will not be posted due to sensitive security information “related to the building architecture.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) expressed his delight and gratitude.
This part is more telling, because Gaetz had wrung from McCarthy a promise of just such a wide release in return for his support of McCarthy’s campaign to be Speaker. McCarthy reneged on that wide release, and that was one reason Gaetz cited when “Moving to Vacate the Chair.”
President Donald J. Trump shared his delight – and the reading-room link – on Truth Social.
Congratulations to Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson for having the Courage and Fortitude to release all of the J6 Tapes, which will explicitly reveal what really happened on January 6th!
Laura Loomer offered an interesting theory behind the January 6 event:
One user released a short sample.
This clip, like several clips CNAV spot-checked, generally shows calm. This stands in sharp contrast to the lurid tales of the event from the January 6 Committee and leftist commentators. The only not-so-calm moments are the arrests of some of the protesters. Even those seem remarkably tame.
Again, according to Speaker Johnson, other batches of footage will appear. Anyone can view them, and anyone having the money to spend, will be able to download them. The examination of these tapes by large numbers of “citizen journalists” should prove interesting in the months to come.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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