Last week, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy explained that he now has his sights set on a plan to release thousands of hours of U.S. Capitol Riot footage captured by the surveillance cameras on January 6, 2021.
“We just want to make sure we go through them all, and it takes time,” explained McCarthy to Breitbart News.
McCarthy explained to the outlet his intention as part of his first exclusive interview in the wake of Tucker Carlson, a host for Fox News, making public a section of unseen security footage from the events of the Capitol riot. Throughout a bit of the 44,000 hours of tape, Carlson built out a number of segments in which he showcased a narrative that ran in the opposite direction from what had previously been reported by legacy media outlets and the now-dismantled House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.
Carlson and the rest of his team were given exclusive access to a cache of well over 40,000 hours of complied security camera footage as part of a recent deal created with McCarthy, who stated that he chose the path of disclosure for the sake of transparency and to counter the heavy “politicization” he thinks that had been created by both the January 6th Committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“This is all about transparency,” stated McCarthy when questioned about why he released the footage. “I think it’s better for transparency that anyone can make their own decision up, and as we walk through these, there are many more hours of tapes than the January 6 committee told us. It’s not 14,000. It’s 42,000 hours.”
McCarthy was quick to assuage the worries from reporters that Capitol Police were part of the process of sharing the clips with Carlson’s team and that security would be “taken care of.” Despite this, Capitol Polices expressed to The Hill that the agency put in a request “that any clips be shown to us first for a security review” but that so far, it has “only been given the ability to preview a single clip out of the multiple clips that aired.”
McCarthy explained to Breitbart News that Carlson filtered through all the footage aired so far in order to block out the possibility of security risks, such as exit areas. According to the House Speaks, Capitol Police looked over the tapes and dealt with a single concern, which was quickly mitigated by the team.
Carlson would not be the only journalist to get access to the tapes, explained the speaker.
“Like any news organization, different people get exclusives,” he stated, expressing that CNN and the January 6 Committee both had previously gotten access to footage that was released to the public “all the time, and nobody complained.”
As the chair of the House January 6 Committee, Democrat Rep. Bennie G. Thompson explained to The Associated Press that McCarthy’s choice to put out the security footage in a selective manned was just a wholesale “dereliction of duty.”
“The speaker decided it was more important to give in to a Fox host who spews lies and propaganda than to protect the Capitol,” stated Thompson in a release, going on to add that January 6 was “one of the darkest days in the history of our democracy.”
Thompson would later confess that the Committee members themselves were actually not allowed access to the footage, and it was only viewable by staff.