Opinion: Greene reverses on Jan. 6 tapes

When Republicans took charge of the U.S. House this year, Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to publicly release internal Jan. 6 security tapes from the U.S. Capitol, as some GOP lawmakers argued it would tell a different story about that dark day.

“Release all the tapes, let the American people know the truth!” declared U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome.

But in recent weeks, Greene changed her mind, and House Republicans have only given a couple of conservative media figures access to the security videos.

Why did the Georgia Republican flip-flop?

Greene is now suddenly worried that the public release of video evidence from the Capitol will allow online activists — known as ‘Sedition Hunters’ — to identify more Jan. 6 suspects, possibly leading to more arrests of supporters of former President Donald Trump.

“Sedition Hunters would spend every second of every day analyzing the videos,” Greene said, accusing online Jan. 6 sleuths of ‘desperately’ wanting to ‘destroy people.’

Those amateur sleuths have a different view. They believe they are helping the FBI track down suspects who deserve to be arrested.

“Why would a government official want to cover for people who committed a crime?” the Sedition Hunters tweeted at Greene.

In parceling out the Capitol security videos to friendly media figures, GOP lawmakers are also continuing to attack the work of the Jan. 6 committee, which laid the blame for the violence at the feet of former President Donald Trump.

“These hearings from the Jan. 6 select committee were Hollywood productions,” U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville told one conservative reporter with access to the videos. “They were after a preconceived narrative, not finding the truth.”

Democrats maintain the only pre-conceived narrative is the never-ending GOP quest to downplay what happened on Jan. 6. And it’s not hard to hear that being pushed by Republican lawmakers today.

“There are hours and hours of no violence, non-violent protesters just walking around inside the Capitol, waving their flags,” said U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Tex., echoing the infamous ‘normal tourist visit’ description from U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens.

The continued push by Republicans to question the Jan. 6 investigation comes as both Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida have promised to pardon some of those people convicted of crimes at the Capitol.

Greene has gone a step further, filing impeachment charges against the federal prosecutor who is handling those cases.

Meanwhile, the arrests of Jan. 6 suspects continue, as do the guilty pleas, and the jail sentences.

The wheels of justice will turn, no matter what Republicans release to the public.

Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com