Jan. 6 Committee Seizes 14,000 Hours Of Security Footage

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Some 14,000 hours of “security sensitive camera footage” from January 6 have been provided to House members investigating the attack on the Capitol, per U.S. Capitol Police. (Previous disclosures seem to indicate that’s footage from surveillance cameras.) The agency seemingly pointed to this disclosure when asked for comment about a push by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot for info on people Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) evidently had at the Capitol the day before the violence.

There have been long-standing concerns about pre-riot attempts to scope out the Capitol. “The USCP has cooperated extensively with the January 6th Select Committee and the Department of Justice by providing witnesses, documents, and 14,000 hours of security sensitive camera footage,” U.S. Capitol Police said. “We cannot make additional public statements or provide any of the materials while their work is still pending.” Previously, Capitol Police General Counsel Thomas DiBiase also revealed that his agency provided a “very limited number” of pieces of footage from January 5 to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department to assist in dealing with particular incidents that do not appear to have been publicly specified at the time. DiBiase also said the presumably same 14,000 hours of footage had been provided to Congressional investigators in particular, although different committees were leading the January 6 probe back then.

As for Loudermilk, he promptly publicly lashed out against the riot committee after panel investigators sought information from him. The committee said he led a “tour” through “parts of the Capitol complex” on January 5, a characterization he disputes. “A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour.’ The family never entered the Capitol building,” Loudermilk and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) said in a joint statement. The letter from the committee to Loudermilk outlining their concerns does not use the phrase reconnaissance tour, although he put it in quotation marks. “[No] place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th,” Loudermilk and Davis added, eventually concluding their statement with a call for Capitol Police to “release the tapes.”

Early last year, DiBiase indicated concerns at his agency about the release of security footage because of the potential unintended consequence of providing anti-democratic agitators such as those who attacked the Capitol with an opportunity to essentially map out future plans. “Our concern is that providing unfettered access to hours of extremely sensitive information to defendants who have already shown a desire to interfere with the democratic process will result in the layout, vulnerabilities and security weaknesses of the Capitol being collected, exposed and passed on to those who might wish to attack the Capitol again,” according to DiBiase. And yet — releasing the tapes is what Loudermilk and Davis (who serve alongside one another on the House Administration Committee) want Capitol Police to do.