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Tags: johnson | blurred faces | jan. 6 | doj | gop | tapes

Speaker: Faces Intentionally Blurred on Jan. 6 Tapes

By    |   Tuesday, 05 December 2023 04:20 PM EST

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., disclosed Tuesday that Republicans are intentionally blurring faces in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol security footage to protect participants from potential legal repercussions.

"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," Johnson stated, as reported by Yahoo News.

About 90 hours of footage have been released by Johnson, with an additional 44,000 awaiting disclosure. Johnson assured that the remaining footage will be made public in the coming months.

Johnson said the footage will enable "millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media" to independently observe the events of Jan. 6, avoiding dependence on the "interpretation" of a limited group of "government officials," according to Mediaite.

The Justice Department already has utilized the footage in about 1,200 criminal cases related to the riot, where participants confronted law enforcement and entered the Capitol building.

While prosecutors possess access to unaltered footage, the blurring of faces could impede amateur investigators from submitting tips to the FBI, as online sleuths have previously aided in identifying suspects through social media and facial recognition software.

Johnson, who pledged to release thousands of hours of footage from security cameras after becoming speaker in October, reiterated that the video had been available to criminal defendants and reporters by request.

Johnson said it's important to "trust the American people to reach their own conclusions" after viewing the tapes. "They should not be dictated by some narrative and then accepted as fact," he said.

After the Capitol riot, conspiracy theories emerged, with some Republican lawmakers alleging that video snippets suggested orchestration by the Justice Department. Among them was Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who contended on the House floor that left-wing activists disguised as Trump supporters were responsible for the attack.

Gaetz has been a leading advocate for the release of the footage, which has been a contentious point amid differing interpretations of the events surrounding Jan. 6.

Over 1,100 people face charges related to their involvement, with approximately 632 pleading guilty to federal charges and 366 already sentenced to serve time, according to the U.S. Attorney's office for D.C., Axios reported.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., disclosed Tuesday that Republicans are intentionally blurring faces in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol security footage to protect participants from potential legal repercussions.
johnson, blurred faces, jan. 6, doj, gop, tapes
377
2023-20-05
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 04:20 PM
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