Speaker Johnson to release insurrection video, blur faces

Nearly 900 people have pleaded or been found guilty of crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.
Violent rioters supporting President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol in Washington.
Posted at 2:29 PM, Dec 06, 2023

House Speaker Mike Johnson announced Tuesday that he plans on releasing additional footage of the insurrection at the Capitol from Jan. 6, 2021, but says the public will not see the faces of those involved. 

During a press conference, Johnson revealed that the footage would be edited to blur the images of those inside the Capitol to protect them from being prosecuted.  As of Wednesday, the Department of Justice has arrested 1,237 tied to the insurrection.  About 500 people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, while 210 pleaded guilty and were convicted of felonies. 

An additional 170 have been found guilty by a court, and 100 of those found guilty were convicted of misdemeanors.

While prosecutors have long had video from the Jan. 6 insurrection, blurring could mean that prosecutors will get fewer tips leading to suspects.

“We’re going through a methodical process of releasing them as quickly as we can. As you know, we have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in 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, you know, concerns and problems," Johnson said. 

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Former President Donald Trump

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Numerous media outlets, including Scripps News, have sued to have the videos released. A small tranche of video was released in September, but Johnson said up to about 44,000 hours of footage will be released in the coming months. 

Former President Donald Trump has wanted the videos released to "explicitly reveal what really happened on January 6." Many supporters of Trump have claimed that the Department of Justice has unfairly targeted those who broke into the Capitol. 

The insurrection occurred as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The riot caused members of Congress to abruptly flee as rioters stormed into the Capitol, many of whom were waving flags supporting Trump.