January 18, 2023

Release the J6 Footage — All of It

Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s vow to release all 14,000 hours of Capitol footage will give the American people a fuller accounting of that day’s events.

As we noted last week, the dealmaking that ultimately resulted in Kevin McCarthy becoming House speaker is paying serious dividends.

Two of the biggest wins secured by the House Freedom Caucus holdouts were the forcing of separate votes on the 12 different annual appropriation bills rather than a single abominable 11th-hour pork-laden $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, and the formation of a “Weaponization of Government” subcommittee to target the abuses of the deep state.

Yet another win materialized last week with Speaker McCarthy’s announcement that he’s committed to making public some 14,000 hours of unreleased security footage from the January 6 Capitol riot, rather than the relatively few minutes of cherry-picked footage Democrats have pornographically put forth in order to advance their Trump-obsessed narrative.

To be sure, this as yet unseen trove of riot footage captures a dark moment in our nation’s history — a dark moment made far more so by the Democrats’ rank politicization of the riot and their utter refusal to seek and share with the American people the whole truth of what transpired. The footage will also shed light on who exactly did what, and therefore on what we suspect is the Biden Justice Department’s unjust and unequal treatment of J6 tourists, peaceful protesters, and violent thugs versus, say, the far more violent and far more destructive 2020 Black Lives Matter thugs or the 214 Trump Inauguration thugs who were charged with felony rioting only to have the Justice Department inexplicably drop all charges against them.

“We watched the politicization of this,” said McCarthy in response to a reporter’s question about the footage. “I think the American public should actually see all of what happened instead of a report that’s written for a political basis. … I want to be very thoughtful about it, but yes, I’m engaged to do that.”

The speaker’s support for the release of the footage is a good thing. We only wonder why it had to be traded for in the first place. Shouldn’t every Republican want to get to the bottom of J6, especially to learn what role our corrupt FBI and its agents provocateurs played in inciting the violence? After all, as New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning national security correspondent Matt Rosenberg conceded in an unguarded moment, “There were a ton of FBI informants among the people who attacked the Capitol.”

Perhaps Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz can shed some light on McCarthy’s mindset, since he appears to have been the driving force behind this concession. Here’s how he put it last week:

Kevin McCarthy told us he’s going to get the evidence out in front of the American people, and that means releasing the 14,000 hours of tapes that have been hidden, that I think would give more full context to that day rather than the cherry-picked moments that the January 6 committee tried to use to inflame and further divide our country. So, yes, I do believe that part of this deal is a concession that we are going to get the truth out in front of the American people.

And, you know what? Kevin McCarthy could have in his victory speech just said, “Well, the government is weaponized,” but he was very specific in his language. He talked about the weaponization of the FBI specifically. His willingness to do that with particularity, I think, shows that he’s ready to lower his shoulder and to get into this fight that so many Americans expect us to be in on behalf of the civil rights that we hold dear.

What are we likely to find in all that footage? Stalwart journalist Julie Kelly has some ideas. We might learn, for example, “whether FBI informants disguised as Trump supporters were planted inside the building prior to the initial breach.” We might also learn who opened “the two-ton Columbus Doors on the east side of the Capitol Building, creating an access point for hordes of protesters. Ditto for entry points at other locations.” We should also learn who erected the “gallows” for “hanging” VP Mike Pence. As of today, that act is as mysterious as the planting of the pipe bombs at the DNC and RNC headquarters.

We’ll also see Capitol and DC Metro police using pepper balls, gas, rubber bullets, and the flashbangs “that likely caused the fatal heart attacks of two Trump supporters that afternoon.” And we’ll see “how law enforcement handled the dead bodies of Ashli Babbitt and Rosanne Boyland.”

As Kelly sums it up, “It will be tough to watch.”

She’s right, of course, but let’s face it: There’s no getting beyond an event like January 6 without a full and unfettered accounting of it. The American people were never going to get such an accounting so long as Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats controlled the House. Instead, what we got was a predictable show trial, a dog and pony show, a whitewashed report and a one-sided telling of events that placed 100% of the blame on Donald Trump and 0% on Pelosi’s failure to provide adequate security around the Capitol and 0% on the FBI’s use of agents and informants to help incite the violence.

“Sunlight,” said Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, “is the best disinfectant.” Until now, we’ve had precious little sunlight shining on the events of that day.

Until now.

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