Dec 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House speaker says he'll blur some Jan. 6 footage to protect rioters

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) speaks at a news conference Tuesday. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Tuesday he wanted to blur faces in the U.S. Capitol security footage from Jan. 6 ahead of releasing more video from the insurrection.

What he's saying: "We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don't want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ and to have other concerns and problems," Johnson said at a press conference.

  • "So, that's a slow process to get it done. We're working steadily on it. We've hired additional personnel to do that, and all of those tapes, ultimately, at the end, will be out so everybody can see them and draw their own conclusion," Johnson added.

Driving the news: Johnson had announced in November the public release of more than 40,000 hours of the footage.

Of note: Raj Shah, a spokesperson for Johnson, clarified in a post to X Tuesday after Johnson's remarks that "faces are to be blurred from public viewing room footage to prevent all forms of retaliation against private citizens from any non-governmental actors."

  • Shah added that the DOJ "already has access to raw footage from January 6, 2021."

Zoom out: As of August, over 1,100 people had faced Jan. 6 criminal charges, including former President Trump.

Go deeper: Mike Johnson to release 40,000 hours of Jan. 6 footage

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