Speaker McCarthy Vows To Take Action on January 6 Footage Following Tucker Carlson Investigation

Speaker of the House McCarthy (R-CA) in an interview with Breitbart News affirmed that he intends to release the U.S. Capitol surveillance footage from January 6, 2021, to the public at large. This comes on the heels of his more selective release of footage to Tucker Carlson, the television host of the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show on Fox News. Mr. Carlson has since released previously unseen footage that contradicts many of the narratives constructed around January 6th.

“Yeah,” said the Speaker when inquiries were made of whether he will release the footage to the public. Mr. McCarthy explained that “[w]e just want to make sure we go through them all, and it takes time. The first thing that Tucker said too, he didn’t want to show any exits to cause any problems. We asked the Capitol Police, ‘Were there any concerns?’ They came back with one, and we mitigated that, but it was interesting, that one that they had a problem with, Eric Swalwell had had up on the internet for the last two years showing that part.”

Representative McCarthy defended his decision to release the tapes. “Well this is all about transparency, ” proclaimed the 58-year-old politician. He continued saying “It won’t just be to Tucker. Like any news organization, different people get exclusives. We watched during January 6, CNN would have exclusives all the time and nobody complained. CNN actually got to be in Statuary Hall for a whole hour for their own show. You’ve watched that January 6 would release only certain tapes.”

Mr. McCarthy further commented, “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. We want to make sure for security purposes our certain exits aren’t shown and others.”

He mused further saying, “But you know the most interesting thing, when I had the team talk to the Capitol Police about making sure they had no problems with the exit and so on, they said January 6 never asked them that. They showed the exit of the vice president. They showed the exit from my office. They literally had then Speaker Pelosi’s daughter showing the secure location that they take the leadership. That’s not supposed to be known to anybody, and CNN reported it, and I don’t remember the press ever getting upset with that. So what we want to do is make sure we have this out that everybody can see it.”


There is great irony in that previous more selective releases of footage were cheered by many in the media and that no one inquired whether those releases imperiled security at the Capitol building.

Other Republicans have not been sold on McCarthy’s decision to release footage and Tucker Carlson’s analysis. In a not-too-subtle dig at McCarthy, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said “With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of Capitol Police about what happened on January 6.” He added that “My concern is how it was depicted, which is a different issue. It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol thinks.”

McConnell’s attempt at a distinction here is feeble given that one (the depiction of events) would not have happened without the other (the decision by McCarthy to go to Tucker Carlson). Nevertheless, as the old adage goes sunlight is the best disinfectant. So too transparency and public releases of all 42,000 hours of footage is the best form of combating false narratives.

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