Days after House speaker Mike Johnson, a conservative Christian who says he is guided by the Bible, started releasing security camera footage from the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, Trump supporters are using the release to rewrite the narrative of what happened that day.
“The show is over,” said “Trump prophet” and Christian entrepreneur Lance Wallnau on a recent episode of “FlashPoint” airing on The Victory Channel, which says its mission is “truth and news, all in the spirit of faith.”
“The more heat we bring in the next year, exposing what happened on January 6, the more we gut the narrative out from them so they can’t bring it up, and start to expose the blatant corruption of this Communist Justice Department,” said Wallnau, co-founder of health and wealth preacher Andrew Wommack’s Truth and Liberty Commission.
Johnson was elected House speaker after Republicans booted Kevin McCarty, who tried to appease his conservative base last March by releasing January 6 footage to Tucker Carlson, then of Fox News. Carlson claimed Capitol police acted as “tour guides” for attackers.
Trump hails Johnson as “MAGA Mike,” in part for Johnson’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Former Rep. Liz Cheney cites Johnson as one of Trump’s chief “enablers and collaborators,” in her new book, Oath and Honor, written long before Johnson was elected speaker. Cheney said both Johnson and McCarthy were among those in Congress who are “willing to violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty to Donald Trump.”
The narrative advanced by these evangelical leaders and Trump supporters has been shown to have no basis in reality, but they persist in their story.
Johnson has said he is “all in” in supporting Trump’s 2024 presidential bid, and he traveled to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to meet with Trump days after announcing he would release the January 6 video.
Trump called Johnson “courageous” for releasing the video. Last Monday, lawyers for Trump filed legal motions questioning claims by various government agencies that the 2020 election was conducted fairly.
1819 News, a conservative outlet founded by the Alabama Policy Institute, claims the new footage shows law enforcement caused the chaos at the Capitol on January 6. The Institute is one of 40 state groups affiliated with the Family Policy Alliance, which began as a division of Focus on the Family in the 1980s and now operates as Focus’s “public policy partner.”
“The released videos provide compelling evidence of the largely peaceful and non-violent nature of the protesters outside the Capitol.”
“The released videos provide compelling evidence of the largely peaceful and non-violent nature of the protesters outside the Capitol — until law enforcement’s use of pepper balls, rubber bullets and tear gas without warning,” claims the article by KCarl Smith. “Inside the Capitol, many protesters displayed a calm and orderly demeanor as they moved through the halls.”
“The need to get to the truth is paramount to ensuring justice,” wrote Smith, who bills himself as “the nation’s No. 1 diversity engagement and conservative messaging strategist” and offers training that helps people “awaken and educate their Marxist indoctrinated family and friends about the value of liberty.”
“The American people are finally getting access to the January 6 Capitol footage,” said FISMTV, a Christian streaming network that aims to “expose Jesus for who he is.”
“As the footage starts to come out, some Republicans are calling for an investigation into the now-defunct January 6 committee, accusing its members of concealing key evidence,” said FISMTV.
Other Christian sites, including Worthy News, have echoed claims that police officers actually went undercover on January 6 as members of antifa, or left open a door that allowed people to enter the Capitol.
The Christian outlets’ response to the videos mirrored secular conservative commentary.
Greg Gutfeld of Fox News claimed the video counters the mainstream media narrative that January 6 was “9/11 and Pearl Harbor rolled into one.” It appears no mainstream media outlet has ever made any such claim.
“In many cases, either the Capitol police escorted protesters in like ushers at a wedding or stood by without objecting,” Gutfeld claimed. “Many of the protesters were veterans or average citizens who just wanted their voices heard and have been prosecuted like they were Hamas.”
In some cases, previously released January 6 video has helped implicate believers.
Leo Brent Bozell IV was convicted of 10 felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from his actions — including breaking windows to gain entrance to the Capitol — on January 6. Video showed Bozell wearing a sweatshirt from Hershey Christian Academy in Pennsylvania, the school his children attend.
Bozell is the son of Brent Bozell III, founder of the conservative groups Media Research Center and Parents Television Council.
Video also showed Louisiana pastor Jay Miller picking up a megaphone and urging on the January 6 crowd, saying: “We’re tired of being lied to. We’re tired of not having anybody have our backs when we’re down, and we’re tired of being put to the streets and pushed out.”
Miller, pastor of Family Church in Lafayette, La., and president of Lafayette Christian Academy, called the video of him “misleading.”
Both Hershey Christian Academy and Lafayette Christian Academy are affiliated with the Association of Christian Schools International.