Security footage reveals Capitol Upper West Terrace door left open on Jan 6, allowing over 300 to enter building

"Some people did enter the Capitol, not by committing acts of violence, but were literally let in.”

New video footage from January 6, 2021, has revealed that a door on the West side of the US Capitol was left open and relatively unguarded during parts of the riot which allowed over 300 people to enter the building unobstructed, while at the same time, officers fought to keep rioters out of other sections of the building.

Security footage obtained by Just the News showed Capitol Police officers, at approximately 2:30 pm, escort a few of the protesters, who were already inside the building, through the non-public Upper West Terrace hallway, and toward a marked fire evacuation door.

The time stamp indicates that the footage was taken shortly after the first breaches were reported elsewhere in the Capitol.

Footage obtained by the outlet shows that as one person exits, the door opens from the inside allowing 309 people to enter through the access point in less than 20 minutes.

The footage, released for publication by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Republican-led House Administration Committee, also showed Capitol Police officers making their way to the unlocked Upper West Terrace doors. However, the officers were not dressed in riot gear nor did they block the entrance and more of the rioters streamed into the building.

The Upper West Terrace, located between the House and Senate sides of the Capitol, has been the point cited in many of the trespassing prosecutions by the Department of Justice.

According to the outlet, the breach of 309 people is only noted as 2:34 pm the "Upper West Terrace is breached" in the incident’s after-action report.

Current and former Capitol Police officers told the outlet that the decision to move the protesters outside the Capitol through the emergency exit doors likely triggered the emergency fire system and unlocked the entrance, creating a new access point for the protesters.

The footage appears to confirm concerns first raised by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), two years ago, who first noted that the footage existed in June 2021. He told Just the News that the release of the footage was important so that vulnerabilities ignored by the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee could be addressed. Johnson told the outlet, "Some people did enter the Capitol, not by committing acts of violence, but were literally let in.”

Johnson wrote to the Capitol Police in June 2021 regarding the footage, "Over the span of a 14-minute period, approximately 309 unauthorized individuals entered the Capitol on January 6 through the Upper West Terrace doors. At approximately 2:26 p.m. on January 6, a security camera showed a male inside the Capitol attempting to open one of the Upper West Terrace doors to exit the building. This unauthorized individual, who was by himself at the time, walked through a narrow hallway to the double doors and attempted to exit through the left door by pushing the door’s crash bar." 

He continued, "The door did not open and the individual turned around and walked back through the hallway and away from the doors. Approximately seven minutes later, at 2:33 pm, security footage showed five unauthorized individuals walking down the same hallway, past a police officer.”

Johnson told Just The News on Monday that the Capitol Police never responded to his letter. "We do not have, we don't know the truth. And what always haunts me is that history is written by the victors and we know the Democrats -- we know the liberal left -- wants to paint conservatives as potential domestic terrorists.

He continued, "I didn't see any armed insurrectionists there. There may have been a few insurrectionists in there, but there weren't thousands of armed insurrectionists. And yet, that was a narrative that the left wanted to push. They continue to push it. It's just dishonest. "

Former FBI agent Steven Friend who worked the Jan. 6 case, but left the bureau after blowing the whistle on what he alleges were civil liberty violations of some of the January 6 defendants, told the outlet that footage might be useful to some of the defendants on appeal. "I think it's sort of a game changer. I mean, here, they didn't even position authority figures there who would admonish folks not to use that door. And that's the Capitol, the people's house. And I think there was a general sentiment among people there who even might have thought that it was more of just a regular tour of the building."

In 2021, during the case of Ethan Nordean, one of the 630-plus defendants charged with participating in the riots, some of the footage was made available by the federal court. Nordean's lawyer argued that Nordean, one of the alleged leaders of the Proud Boys, was allowed to enter the building, an argument dismissed by prosecutors.

Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls, a former sheriff who wrote a book that challenges the portrayal of January 6 by Democrats, said, regarding the Jan. 6 committee, that the footage revealed that "They picked and chose what they wanted to expose during that sham committee. They got people screaming, and they found the worst 10 minutes inside the Capitol. But when you truly see the video, there are hours and hours of no violence, non-violent protesters just walking around inside the Capitol, waving their flags, singing God Bless America.”

He added, "I mean, there are many, many people inside that Capitol building that day that didn't violate any law, didn't hurt anybody, didn't do anything wrong."
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