A little under a month ago, RedState reported on the forced release of a January 6th surveillance video by a judge overseeing some of the prosecutions. The federal government had staunchly opposed the release, claiming it was a matter of national security that they remain hidden.
Once the video was released, it was clear why prosecutors didn’t want it getting out publicly. Instead of a violent breach of the Capitol, what we saw were masked men open the doors and windows while people casually strolled in, some appearing to be perplexed by their entry as they mingled and took photos.
Now, more videos have been released, and these dig the hole deeper for those who have so steadfastly assured us that January 6th was an “insurrection.”
Two cameras, 40 minutes.
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 18, 2021
Despite the above Buzzfeed reporter’s editorializing, nothing in those videos supports the violent breach narrative. Just like the first video, we have no idea who actually opened the door. The FBI can track down and name names when it comes to drinking a beer from Nancy Pelosi’s fridge. Yet, they once again can’t tell us who actually allowed the crowd into the building? That just doesn’t pass muster at this point given the resources expended and the ferocity with which the federal government has tracked down anyone who stepped foot in the Capitol Building that day.
Further, once the door is opened and people start entering, the police appear to step aside in an unopposing fashion. I’m not suggesting they didn’t give orders that were disobeyed, but again, that does not fit the violent breach by force narrative. Perhaps the USCP officers decided it was safer to just let the crowd in and regroup? Maybe they had something more pressing to go deal with? Their reasoning is not really the point, though. The point is that a bunch of people entered the Capitol Building that day seemingly under the impression they weren’t forcing their way in.
Julie Kelly, who has been at the forefront of pushing back on the predominant January 6th narrative, provides a concise description of what the video shows in her write-up.
At the start of the video, one officer held open the interior door that accesses the Capitol Rotunda, a space between the House and Senate wings. Five or six unidentified men exited the door and spoke to the officer before leaving. Those men held open the exterior double-doors, where protesters began filing into the building. Nordean’s lawyer said his client is recorded entering the building, with the consent of police, between 2:37 p.m. and 2:38 p.m..
Capitol Police officers stood in the small hallway between the exterior and interior doors for the next few minutes; dozens of people entered as police did not attempt to stop them. At one point, several officers can be seen talking with a crowd of people attempting to come inside. One officer then pulled aside another officer speaking with the protesters—this appeared to be shortly after Ashli Babbitt was shot by Officer Michael Byrd outside the Speaker’s lobby—and the officers retreated. Protesters followed the officers inside.
There are several angles to this saga, with some being more important than others. People can get bogged down in arguing the precise level of outrage that should be expressed regarding January 6th, but that’s just a political argument and ignores the biggest issues at play. More pressing is the fact that there are real people being held in pre-trial detainment facing legal peril right now. Given that, the question everyone should be asking is whether these videos support the government’s narrative regarding their prosecutions and charging decisions.
For example, the case that led to the release of this footage involves a man named Ethan Nordean, who was charged with crimes centering on entering the building by force. Yet, the video doesn’t show a forced entry. It shows police, for whatever reason they may have had at the time, allowing people to enter.
Yes, there were people who reacted violently that day (almost exclusively outside of the Capitol Building) and scuffled with police. Yet, all the video we’ve seen so far supports the idea that nearly everyone else seemed to just think they were part of a protest. And as the FBI has already admitted, no evidence has emerged of an actual “insurrection” plot.
So where does that leave us? In my view, it leaves us with a federal government that is well overstepping in most of the cases they are prosecuting regarding January 6th. Unfortunately, some of the judges involved appear to be complicit in trying to make examples of people whose worse crime was trespassing. Thus, the fight drags on for many who have had their lives ruined when there was just no justification for the government to push things as far as they have.