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Speaker Johnson Tricks Trump

Speaker Johnson needs to step up now more than ever.

A significant divide has emerged between the supporters of former President Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson regarding the release of additional footage related to the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

In November, Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, pledged to make available all Capitol Hill security footage from that day, excluding sensitive or retaliatory information against private citizens. He emphasized the importance of truth and transparency, promising to swiftly upload more than 40,000 hours of video onto a public website. Although an initial 90 hours were released by the Committee on House Administration, subsequent footage has yet to surface, causing frustration among Trump’s allies.

Raj Shah, deputy chief of staff for communications for Johnson, clarified that precautions, such as blurring faces in public viewing room footage, were taken to prevent retaliation against private citizens. He noted that the Department of Justice already had access to raw footage from the event.

Despite these assurances, MAGA Republicans persist in demanding the release of the footage, asserting it will debunk the narrative that the Capitol riot was a violent response to Trump’s electoral defeat. Some figures within Trump’s circle, including Jeff Clark and conservative activist Laura Loomer, expressed impatience and accused Johnson of dishonesty.

As of now, over 1,230 individuals face federal charges related to the riot, with about 730 pleading guilty and approximately 170 convicted. In August 2023, Trump himself was indicted by the Department of Justice on four counts for allegedly attempting to overturn the 2020 election results. His trial is scheduled for March 4, 2024, and he maintains his innocence. The delay in releasing additional footage continues to fuel tensions between Johnson and Trump’s supporters, who seek clarity and transparency surrounding the events of January 6, 2021.