This week, GOP leadership in the House — currently helmed by Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican — made a public release of an extensive selection of footage from January 6, 2021, at the Capitol.
There’s been a pervasive conspiracy theory from the far-right that the events of that day weren’t as serious as characterized by prosecutorial and investigative teams. (Tucker Carlson is a prominent proponent of this.) And the release of footage was positioned to help advance those claims, allowing access to isolated clips that don’t themselves show violence but don’t somehow negate what documentation clearly shows was happening elsewhere. Former GOP Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming spotlighted a selection of footage showing some of that day’s violence in a response on X, the platform previously called Twitter.
“Here’s some January 6th video for you,” she wrote, sharing a montage of troubling clips. One of the replies she received was from Brandon Straka a prominent, pro-Trump voice online who was previously charged by federal authorities for his role in the day’s events. “Panicking, Liz? Are you afraid that now people are going to see what happened BEFORE your cherry picked clips?” he posted, misrepresenting the nature of the progression of events that day. Even in that narrative, what were the inciting incidents leading from the lack of violence to the presence of it?
Cheney also got a response from an account evidently belonging to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who raised the consistently rebuffed conspiracy theory that secret feds were helping propel the violence. “Liz, we’ve seen footage like that a million times. You made sure we saw that—and nothing else. It’s the other stuff—what you deliberately hid from us—that we find so upsetting. Nice try. P.S. How many of these guys are feds? (As if you’d ever tell us),” Lee posted. There remains no apparent evidence of any cognizable federal presence propelling that day’s rioting. FBI Director Christopher Wray rejected the theory of secret federal orchestration behind the violence in recent testimony in the House.
Here’s some January 6th video for you.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 17, 2023