Posted for: Layla Godey
by Thomas Kika
Former GOP congresswoman Liz Cheney took to social media on Friday with a reaction to the news that House Speaker Mike Johnson would be releasing thousands of hours of security footage from the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Johnson, a Louisiana Republican who was elected to the speakership after Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the role last month, announced on Friday that his office would be releasing the complete archive of Capitol riot security footage, roughly 44,000 hours in total, after releasing an initial batch of footage totaling 90 hours. He had previously promised to release the footage during his run for the office of speaker.
Republicans, particularly supporters of former President Donald Trump aligned with the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement, have long called for the release of the footage, claiming the complete archive would confirm their narrative of January 6, that it was, in the words of GOP Representative Andrew Clyde, “a normal tourist visit” and not a violent storming of the Capitol building in response to Trump’s 2020 election loss to Joe Biden. This narrative has been strongly denied by many outside that cohort of Republicans, including by Democrats and moderate Republicans, with available footage and eyewitness testimony rebuking the idea that January 6 was not violent.
Cheney, the former at-large representative for Wyoming, has been amongst the most prominent GOP critics of Trump and served on the bipartisan House select committee that investigated the Capitol riot in detail. The select committee published an 845-page report in December 2022, which held Trump personally responsible for the riot and recommended he face criminal charges.
On Friday, in light of Johnson’s announcement, Cheney took to X, the platform previously known as Twitter, to share a clip of previously available footage of that day, edited together by The New York Times. In the clip, rioters can be seen aggressively engaging with Capitol security and police forces: spraying them with pepper spray, hitting them with flags and other long items, and forcing their way into doors.
“Here’s some January 6th video for you,” Cheney wrote.
Newsweek reached out to Johnson’s office via email for comment.
Here’s some January 6th video for you.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 17, 2023
This was not the first time in recent days that Cheney has clashed with Johnson over his comments related to the former president. On Wednesday, she posted a stern rebuke after the House speaker suggested that he believes that Trump believed his false claims about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“Yesterday, Speaker Johnson suggested Trump could ignore rulings by 61 courts & defy our Constitution because Trump supposedly ‘believed’ he won,” the former congresswoman wrote on X. “Mike knows the election was not stolen and that a President who defies the rulings of our courts & attempts to seize power is a tyrant.”
Meanwhile, Trump was indicted on four counts in August by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in relation to the insurrection, including conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights. Trump has pled not guilty and has said that the case against him is politically motivated as he remains the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.