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New January 6 footage shows tense exchange between GOP congressmen and Capitol rioters

By Melanie Zanona and Kaanita Iyer, CNN

(CNN) — The Justice Department has released new footage from the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol that shows a dramatic moment of rioters shouting through broken glass at two Republican lawmakers.

The video — obtained by CNN on Saturday, which marks three years since the Capitol riot — adds to the trove of footage and firsthand accounts of the violence that took place that day, even as some Republican lawmakers on Saturday continued to whitewash the insurrection.

In the newly released eight-minute clip, rioters stare down Republican Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas and Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma — who at that time was a member of the House — through cracks in the entrance to the House chamber as they face the guns pointed at them by two members of law enforcement.

Nehls, sporting a face mask with the Texas state flag, can be seen attempting to talk to the rioters, but his voice is drowned out by the rioters shouting at the two congressmen.

“I’ve been in law enforcement in Texas for 30 years, and I’ve never had people act this way,” Nehls shouts. “I’m ashamed!”

Someone shouts back, “And I’m ashamed of my congresspeople!”

The video was shot by Damon Beckley, who was found guilty of obstructing the electoral college certification and of civil disorder. Beckley is set to be sentenced in February.

While there is ample evidence of the threats lawmakers on both sides of the aisles faced that day, some House GOP members are still downplaying the riot — and the few who noted the third anniversary did not mention former President Donald Trump or his role in the events.

Georgia Rep. Mike Collins, who was not a member of Congress in 2021, called it the “lamest ‘insurrection’” in history, while calling for January 6 defendants to be pardoned and falsely claiming that the rioters were “unarmed.”

“J6 messaging from the left and media is all about making regular Americans the enemy and manipulating facts to accumulate power,” he wrote on social media.

Collins also incorrectly added that the only person who died during the attack was rioter Ashli Babbitt. CNN has reported that four people in the crowd died on January 6, including Babbitt. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered strokes and died of natural causes one day after the riot, and four other officers died by suicide in the days and months afterward. At least 140 police officers were injured that day.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jim Banks, a Trump ally who is running for Senate in Indiana, reposted Trump’s tweet from January 6, 2021, asking “everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful” — a post that Republicans have used to argue Trump was not responsible for the violence that day and wanted peace.

But the House January 6 select committee found that Trump had initially resisted pleas from his aides to urge people to stay peaceful as he watched the violence unfold on television.

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign on Saturday attempted to highlight Trump’s role in the insurrection with a real time tick-tock of how it unfolded, which included Trump’s speech and tweets from that day. The campaign video comes a day after the president made clear during a campaign speech that “Trump did nothing” to stop the insurrection on January 6.

CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz and Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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