House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said that House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) recent decision to release over 40,000 hours of Jan. 6 Capitol incident footage was a praiseworthy and “important” step in uncovering the truth of what happened that day.
“It’s important for Americans to know the truth,“ Mr. Turner said in an interview on NBC’s ”Meet the Press” when asked whether Mr. Johnson’s decision to release the tapes was a responsible one despite concerns expressed by the Capitol Police that the move could jeopardize security.
“This has been fraught with an unbelievable amount of misinformation and untruths,” Mr. Turner continued, adding, ”When you see the footage yourself, it’s going to give you an understanding of what was there and what occurred that day.”
“Because we’re currently only depending on really partisan descriptions of what happened. Now the American people can see,” he continued, while adding that both members of the Democrat-dominated Jan. 6 Committee and some Republicans had ”cherry-picked” the footage earlier in order to misrepresent what happened that day.
“I think it’s important that the Speaker has taken this step because now people can see the truth,” he added.
Mr. Johnson made waves when he announced several weeks ago that previously undisclosed Jan. 6 Capitol Police security video footage would be made public starting immediately and ramping up in coming months.
The footage shows the Capitol premises during the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when protesters upset by what they saw as a stolen 2020 presidential election made their way into the Capitol, some after battling with police.
However, some of the footage shows people casually walking beside police officers, who appear indifferent and let them saunter along.
Jan. 6 TapesMr. Johnson said in a statement that 40,000 of the 44,000 hours of video from Capitol Hill taken on Jan. 6 would be posted online.
“This decision will provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement.
More videos will be added to the public site on “a rolling basis,” a senior congressional aide told The Epoch Times.
The speaker’s decision to release the footage came amid mounting pressure from the public and Jan. 6 defendants to get access to the security video.
Trump Weighs InLike Mr. Turner, former President Donald Trump also praised Mr. Johnson for releasing the tapes.
President Trump said that Mr. Johnson showed “courage and fortitude” in his decision to to begin releasing the footage.
President Trump’s political rivals have sought to portray the events of Jan. 6 as an “insurrection” and in April 2021 the Democrat-controlled House approved a single article of impeachment against the former president, accusing him of “inciting violence against the government of the United States.”
More recently, President Trump’s opponents launched legal efforts in several states to block him from being listed from ballots in the 2024 presidential race on 14th Amendment grounds, seeking to portray him as the instigator of the Jan. 6 incident.
These cases—in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, and elsewhere—basically argued that the former president took part in an “insurrection” by giving an impassioned speech on Jan. 6 before the Capitol breach occurred.
President Trump said in his Jan. 6 speech that protesters should “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” though some of his critics have seized on a portion of his remarks where he said “we fight like hell” and “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore” as a call for violence.
The former president has, on numerous occasions, denied calling for violent protests while insisting he meant his remarks about fighting like hell metaphorically.