Johnson Is “Giving a Diagram to Future Insurrectionists”: Rep. Raskin Criticizes Release of Capitol Riot Footage


Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin has recently criticized House Speaker Johnson’s plans to release footage from the Capitol riots on Jan. 6. In a statement, Raskin, who was part of the committee investigating the riots, said the videos being made public would pose a security risk, further stating it would provide terrorists and future insurrectionists with a diagram of the building. However, Speaker Johnson claimed that the footage was being released in order to provide “truth and transparency.”

Let Americans See What Happened

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In a statement, Speaker Johnson has claimed that “truth and transparency are critical,” He continued, “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.”  

90 Hours of Security Video Made Public

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Johnson gave the green light last week to disseminate approximately 90 hours of security video. The footage has been uploaded to the website of the House Administration Committee, which is responsible for supervising and managing the Jan. 6 footage. On the day of the video’s release, Johnson had declared that the public would have immediate access.  

Further 44,000 Hours to Be Posted

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The recently appointed speaker mentioned that the remaining 44,000 hours of Capitol Riot footage are anticipated to be uploaded in the coming months.  

A Public Viewing Room Will Be Set Up

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Additionally, Johnson stated that a public viewing room within the Capitol complex would be provided.  

Videos Will Blur Faces

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Johnson verified that the videos would obscure citizens’ faces to “prevent any individuals from becoming targets for retaliation of any kind.” He also mentioned that tapes containing “sensitive security information related to the building architecture” would not be released.  

Releasing the Tapes Pose Security Risk

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Yet, some Democratic party members criticized Johnson’s choice as reckless. According to Rep. Jamie Raskin, releasing all the tapes would be a “security risk.”


An Effort to Placate the Right-Wing

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On the same day the initial 90 hours of footage was released, Raskin was interviewed on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and he stated, “This was an effort to placate the right wing, which has been making this absurd demand for a very long time,” Raskin continued to argue, “Beyond the partisan nature of it, it’s a security risk what they are doing.  

Led by the Most Far-Right

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It has been observed that the initiative to make the Jan. 6 footage accessible to the public is spearheaded by several of the most right-wing Republican members of Congress, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Matt Gaetz.  

Giving a Diagram to Future Insurrectionists and Terrorists

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“The reason why the Capitol Police have opposed releasing tens of thousands of hours from every House office building, every Senate office building, every part of the Capitol is because it’s like giving a diagram to future insurrectionists and terrorists and anybody who wants to invade our body,” Raskin explained in the interview.  

“Complete Report” Was Enough Information

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As a Jan. 6 committee member, Rep. Raskin suggested that the committee’s “complete report” provided sufficient information for the public without having to release any footage.  

Capitol Police Should Decide

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Raskin also asked why Johnson hadn’t relied on “Capitol Police to determine what should be given out and what shouldn’t be given out.” He highlighted the “principal concern” was security.  

Trump Commends “Courage and Fortitude”

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The ex-president, Trump, is scheduled to face trial in March for federal charges linked to his efforts to overturn the election. He has recently praised Johnson’s choice to release the footage of the Capitol Riots.  

Tapes Will Explicitly Reveal What Happened

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Trump posted 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 Jan. 6!”  

The Goal Is to Provide Transparency

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Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk had been appointed as Chair for the Administration Committee handling the tapes of Jan. 6. He said in a statement, “The goal of our investigation has been to provide the American people with transparency on what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and this includes all official video from that day.”  

Give Americans the Facts

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“We will continue loading video footage as we conduct our investigation and continue to review footage. As I’ve said all along — the American people deserve transparency, accountability, and real answers supported by facts instead [of] a predetermined political narrative,” Loudermilk added.  

Johnson Endangering the Country

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In contrast, a Democratic member of the Administration Committee, Joseph Morelle, disagreed, stating, “It is unconscionable that one of Speaker Johnson’s first official acts as steward of the institution is to endanger his colleagues, staff, visitors, and our country by allowing virtually unfettered access to sensitive Capitol security footage.”  

Dangerous and Irresponsible

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“That he is doing so over the strenuous objections of the security professionals within the Capitol Police is outrageous. This is not transparency, this is dangerous and irresponsible,” Morelle added.  

Johnson’s Allegiance Is to Trump

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A former spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee, Hannah Muldavin, has also stated that the release of the footage “shows that [Speaker Johnson’s] allegiance like Kevin McCarthy’s before him, is to Donald Trump and the ultra-right-wing faction of the House.”  

Galvanizing Resolve to Save Democracy

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Users posted online to comment on the news. One user stated, “The ‘stop the steal sympathizer’ crowd will think this is good for them. 40,000 hours wall-to-wall footage of rioters literally trying to steal an election. They think it will foster nihilism and let the retrumplicans continue to try and eliminate democracy and tear up the Constitution. It wont. It will eternally remind us that there are terrible people this country needs to be protected from. It will galvanize our resolve to save democracy- increase more democracy to the people, and further resolve the strength of our fundamental principles.”


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