Jan. 6 Committee Chair Claims Security Concerns Over Sharing the Security Footage With Tucker Carlson

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
February 21, 2023US News
Jan. 6 Committee Chair Claims Security Concerns Over Sharing the Security Footage With Tucker Carlson
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivers remarks during the seventh hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington on July 12, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The former chairman of the now disbanded House Jan. 6 Committee raised concerns about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy turning over 40,000 hours of security footage from that day to Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

On Monday, Axios first reported that McCarthy had shared the thousands of hours of security footage from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with Carlson.

Responding to the allegations McCarthy had provided Carlson with the footage, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) expressed his concerns in a statement he shared with Reuters.

Thompson had led the panel, which was formally titled the “Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.” The committee, which was formed when Democrats held the majority in the House of Representatives, consisted of seven Democrats and Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. The committee disbanded in January after Republicans gained the majority control in the House.

Thompson said his now-defunct committee had treated U.S. Capitol Police footage with great sensitivity over concerns about the security of lawmakers, staff, and the Capitol complex.

“Access was limited to members and a small handful of investigators and senior staff, and the public use of any footage was coordinated in advance with Capitol Police,” Thompson said. “It’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly.”

“If Speaker McCarthy has indeed granted Tucker Carlson—a Fox host who routinely spreads misinformation and Putin’s poisonous propaganda—and his producers access to this sensitive footage, he owes the American people an explanation of why he has done so and what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake,” Thompson added.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), another former member of the Jan. 6 committee, similarly described Carlson as a “right-wing propagandist,” “a man who spews Kremlin talking points,” and who “suggests Jan 6 was a false flag.”

“Make no mistake: This isn’t about transparency, it’s about fueling dangerous conspiracy theories,” Schiff tweeted.

NTD News reached out to the House Speaker’s office for comment but has not received a response.

Footage ‘Contradicts’ Jan. 6 Story, Carlson Says

On his show on Monday, Carlson said he had been granted access to about 44,000 hours of security camera footage from the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Carlson said he and his producers had already been reviewing the security footage from the Capitol for about a week by the time reports emerged that he had access to the trove of information. Carlson suggested the footage his team has reviewed thus far has already begun to contradict some of the claims that have been made about the events of that day.

“Some of our smartest producers have been there, looking at this stuff and trying to figure out what it means and how it contradicts, or not, the story that we’ve been told for more than two years,” Carlson said. “We think, already, that in some ways it does contradict that story. And so we’re going to spend the rest of this week taking a look at it, assessing it as honestly as we can, and we’re going to bring you what we find next week.”

In a comment to Axios, Carlson said, “[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret.”

Footage ‘Selectively Leaked’

The decision to hand over thousands of hours of security footage to Carlson’s team comes as numerous Jan. 6 defendants have called for the release of footage from that day.

Last year, defense attorney Jonathon Moseley sued for the release of all footage from the events of that day. Moseley said prosecutors and the U.S. Capitol police have been able to “pick and choose what information with which to smear these defendants in public and condemn them in public, while withholding an equal measure of exculpatory information.”

“For two years, the Department of Justice has selectively leaked footage to shape their preferred narratives. And for two years, Democrats in Congress worked to ‘establish’ their own narrative,” Jan. 6 defendant William Pope told The Epoch Times on Monday.

Pope said that while he appreciated Carlson’s work, the Fox News host shouldn’t be the only one given access to the footage.

Even before Carlson’s show gained access to the thousands of hours of footage, some footage has been released that showed instances of violent police actions on Jan. 6.

Body camera footage from D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC) Officer Daniel Thau showed him using a variety of crowd control measures and describing how their use seemed to only inflame tensions in the crowds of demonstrators who gathered outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Thau’s body camera showed him firing 40-millimeter crowd control shells into the crowd at point-blank ranges. His footage also showed him misfiring a tear-gas canister that landed among his fellow officers. Use-of-force expert Stan Kephart said Officer Thau’s body camera footage indicates he also may have misused his taser.

Additional body camera footage showed MPDC Commander Jason Bagshaw and other police officers repeatedly beating Jan. 6 defendant Victoria C. White over the head with a baton. The release of the footage led White to decline a plea deal.

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