The January 6 Tapes are Finally Here

The more than 40,000 hours of new footage answers some questions — and raises others.

What’s happening: After 11 months of suspense, House Republicans finally made good on their pledge to release over 40,000 hours of video from the January 6, 2021, Capitol protest. Under the directive of Speaker Mike Johnson, the full, unaltered footage is now available for public viewing online.

What we learned: While many are still making their way through the footage, much of the newly released video vindicates conservative suspicions about the January 6 narrative. Dozens of new clips reaffirm that protestors peacefully walked in and out of the Capitol as police officers waved them by — or even led them into the building themselves.

  • The fist bump: In one notable clip, a protester was walked into a hallway by police, released from his handcuffs, and fist-bumped one of the officers on his way out.

Police brutality: The footage depicts a shocking level of police violence directed at protesters while they were still outside the Capitol, leading some to speculate that the clashes between protesters and law enforcement — which received wall-to-wall media coverage over the past three years — may have been instigated and provoked by the police.

  • Remember: The FBI also had several informants in the crowd and refused to tell Congress whether they incited violence.

The human toll: Over a thousand J6ers have been criminally charged, and hundreds have been sentenced to prison time. At least four have taken their own lives. Federal prosecutors have had enormous leverage in these cases by concealing parts of the footage — and Speaker Johnson has now taken it away.

The agenda: The House’s January 6 committee used a carefully tailored narrative with out-of-content footage to dramatize the event, justify a criminal referral against former President Donald Trump, and create public sympathy for the prosecution of hundreds of Americans.