A ranking Democrat has cited security concerns as a reason not to release 44,000 hours of Jan. 6 footage to the American public.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said in contrast that he believes the American people can be trusted to handle the live footage of the protest.
Rep. Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY), a ranking member of the House Administration Committee, said releasing the footage would be “unconscionable.”
He claims to do so would “endanger” U.S. Capitol staff and visitors “by allowing virtually unfettered access to sensitive Capitol security footage.”
Meanwhile, Hannah Muldavin, a senior adviser at the leftist Congressional Integrity Project, said: “The January 6th Select Committee worked with US Capitol Police to ensure no sensitive material was released to the public — Johnson releasing the tapes does the exact opposite.”
Releasing all of the footage to the American public keeps a promise Johnson made when he ran for speaker. More transparency around the tragic events of that day will not only restore trust in institutions, it might help hold those institutions accountable.
Some of the footage has already been released, including a shocking video of a bystander begging police to stop beating Jan 6 defendant Victoria White. Is this the footage Democrats are afraid to let the American public see?
JUST IN: New video shows bystander begging police to STOP BEATING Jan 6 defendant Victoria White, "Please don't beat her! You're going to kill her!"pic.twitter.com/QnNwNblsmr
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) November 18, 2023
In a recent X post, House Speaker Johnson retorted that the Democrats’ fight against transparency in this matter “erodes trust in our institutions.”
He added that the “American people can always be trusted to evaluate information and make their own judgments and decisions.”
The American people can always be trusted to evaluate information and make their own judgments and decisions. When bureaucrats and partisan activists withhold data to advance a narrative, it erodes trust in our institutions. We must restore that trust. https://t.co/htPwMuk2qz
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) November 18, 2023
Democrats have accused their Republican colleagues of trying to whitewash what happened on Jan 6. But releasing video footage of what happened would make it more difficult for Democrats or Republicans to whitewash the events of that day.
Moreover, thousands of contradictory eyewitness statements driven by partisan conflict are more likely to whitewash the events of Jan 6 than plain camera footage.
In a statement Friday, Johnson said, “Truth and transparency are critical. Today, we will begin immediately posting video on a public website and move as quickly as possible to add to the website nearly all of the footage, more than 40,000 hours.”