More footage from inside the Capitol on January 6 will be released to the public but, according to House Speaker Mike Johnson, some faces in that footage will be blurred out to protect the people in it. And John Oliver thinks that’s pretty “ridiculous.”
On Tuesday, Johnson noted during a press conference that “We have to blur some faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ” (despite the fact that the events of January 6 were illegal, which is why many have been charged).
“Which is ridiculous,” Oliver marveled. “These people were part of an armed insurrection and also, there was merch! It wasn’t exactly a secret!”
The HBO host then pointed out that Johnson himself is “heavily implicated” in the events of January 6, particularly by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, who called Johnson “one of the intellectual architects of pushing back on the stolen election.”
Oliver made a point to “set aside” the fact that Bannon called the 2020 election “stolen,” as that has been proven false multiple times over, and admitted that Bannon is right. Johnson led the amicus brief, in support of a Texas lawsuit that hoped to invalidate 2020’s election, and Oliver hasn’t forgotten.
“Now, was that a good thing? Unreasonable people can disagree,” he half-joked. “But, his involvement is not something Republicans want you to ask about.”
Oliver then pulled up the clip of Johnson — who was flanked by several of the more conservative members of his party after earning the nomination to be speaker — being asked about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
In it, Johnson himself rolled his eyes and looked away, while the Republicans around him, including Lauren Boebert and Virginia Foxx booed the reporter and told her to “Shut up.”
“I hate to be that guy, but ‘Boo, shut up’ is not no,” Oliver said with a chuckle.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” airs on Sundays on HBO.