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Republicans, Who Insisted Jan 6 Rioters Were Actually Leftists in Disguise, Are Now Blurring Footage To Protect Them

Mike Johnson adjusts his glasses in the House.

Republicans’ narrative around the events of January 6, 2021, is changing—again.

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January 6 showed the world that an assault on the U.S. Capitol Building was possible. It didn’t happen through the bombing of foreign entities or an invasion by extraterrestrial forces. The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., was attacked by Trump supporters who couldn’t accept the results of the 2020 presidential elections.

Among the scores of average Trump supporters were other far-right entities, such as the Proud Boys, a violent, white neo-fascist group who were among the key instigators of the Capitol Riot. This insurrection was an act of rebellion against the result of the election, and the rioters aimed to stop the formalization of Joe Biden’s victory as the 46th President of the United States.

There is undeniable evidence and more than 1,000 arrests proving those who went to storm the Capitol were Trump supporters and far-right groups. Yet some Republicans have insisted on shifting the blame onto other parties, falsely claiming the event was a “false flag” perpetrated by Democrat voters, the FBI, and Antifa. Matt Gaetz has been pushing that story hard, and Vivek Ramaswamy even parrotted it from the GOP debate stage this week.

So why has House Speaker Mike Johnson—who recently said he would release footage of the riots as a counter-narrative to the actual facts of what happened that day—now admitted to blurring the faces of those who threatened US democracy and participated in the violent riot on January 6th, 2021?

“We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” Johnson told reporters this week.

In an odd twist of words, Johnson followed up that admission by saying that when the (censored) footage of the riots is out, everybody can “draw their own conclusions.” What kind of conclusions can people come up with if the faces on the footage can’t be recognized? I guess only Johnson knows that!

Not only could rioters evade prosecution, but it’s also curious as to why Republicans are hell-bent on protecting the privacy of these people. Surely, if these rioters are, in fact, Antifa or from the opposite side of the political spectrum, then the Republicans ought not to be so charitable.

(featured image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) is a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue. She graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Japanese Studies. She speaks three languages, but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. As a mixed race bisexual woman, she frequently writes about race, gender and sexuality both academically and professionally. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.

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