Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the house, is defending his choice to grant Tucker Carlson of Fox News exclusive access to the security footage of the Capitol attack on January 6.
The Fox News commentator had first dibs, but McCarthy promised to eventually release the over 42,000 hours of private Capitol Police security footage to the general public as soon as possible.
McCarthy, a Republican, is also in favor of granting access to some of the almost 1,000 defendants accused of participating in the siege. As Congress was collecting the election results from the states on January 6, 2021, then-President Donald Trump incited a mob of supporters to fight fiercely, resulting in the incident and its aftermath that claimed five lives.
The speaker’s decision to make the police security film public has caused a stir in the Capitol because of the possibility that the pictures could be used politically to rewrite the events of that tragic day.
Fox News is becoming the subject of greater scrutiny in a second court case regarding its airing of false claims about the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Biden. Also, it’s bringing up fresh concerns about delicate security protocols at the Capitol.
While footage from the January 6 riot was widely broadcast as part of public hearings last summer by the House committee looking into the attack, including from police cameras, documentarians like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter who filmed secret locations, and even the rioters themselves, McCarthy is making almost 42,000 hours of footage—three times what was initially seen—from cameras positioned in all areas of the Capitol complex available.
The House January 6 committee went through a laborious procedure, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, the previous chairman, to analyze and then distribute acceptable chunks of the surveillance tape as part of its public hearings. This process involved working closely with the US Capitol Police.
According to a person involved with the private conference meeting but not permitted to discuss it publicly, McCarthy was hailed with cheers when he informed other Republicans about his decision on Tuesday.
McCarthy asserted that he was taking precautions to guarantee that the publication would not compromise Capitol security, but he would not go into specifics, choosing instead to state that Carlson had made it clear to the speaker’s office that he did not want to provide exit points used by members or others.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Changes Her Stance on Jan.6 Riot Footage
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) spent months urging the unconditional release of thousands of hours of Jan. 6 security camera footage when Democrats were in charge of the House.
Greene has altered her tune from her previous stance of calling for the release of the tapes now that Republicans have granted Fox News’ Tucker Carlson exclusive access to them. Greene, who apparently helped House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) decide to give Carlson exclusive access to the video, now claims that it would be foolish to make some of it available to the general public.
Greene’s change of heart is all the more noteworthy in light of the several media outlets that recently demanded access to the video, citing worry that the public might adopt an ideologically-based narrative of an already divisive incident.
According to the story, the lawmaker stated McCarthy’s office is attempting to make the video available outside of Fox News. Greene, however, made no further explanations, and McCarthy’s office did not respond to a request for comment.