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House Republicans to release most of Jan. 6 footage

Capitol Police officer on trauma of Jan. 6
Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn on Jan. 6 trauma and new book "Standing My Ground" 05:33

Washington — House Republicans will make public most of the security footage captured on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021, following through on their pledge to give Americans access to the video, they announced Friday.

Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement that 40,000 of the 44,000 hours of video from Capitol Hill taken on Jan. 6 will be posted online on a rolling basis. The faces of private citizens captured on video will be blurred to protect them from retaliation, and roughly 5% of the footage will be withheld because it contains sensitive security information, Johnson said.

"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," Johnson said.

The speaker said that "truth and transparency are critical."

The first tranche of video, which is roughly 90 hours long, was made public Friday by the House Administration Committee. In addition to hosting the footage on a public website, there will also be a viewing room where people can watch the footage themselves.

Most of the video from the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol has not been released to the public, though portions were played by the House select committee that investigated the attack. The panel was disbanded in December at the end of the last Congress.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had vowed to release the security footage, but provided access to the trove of 41,000 hours of police and surveillance video from Jan. 6 to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson first.

Carlson broadcast selected snippets of the footage from the Capitol and claimed it showed "mostly peaceful chaos." His characterization of the events on Jan. 6 sparked backlash from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who said his portrayal was at odds with what they experienced when the mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters breached the Capitol building.

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