House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has pledged to release tens of thousands of hours of US Capitol surveillance footage from January 6, 2021. McCarthy revealed his intentions during an on-camera interview with Breitbart News. He stated that he wants to ensure they are all carefully examined before they are released. The videos will be released to the public in the coming weeks as sensitive security information is removed.
“We 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.”
This announcement follows an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in which he showed never-before-seen clips of surveillance footage. The footage Carlson aired challenged some of the narratives put forward by the previous Congress’s January 6 select committee and the establishment media. For example, Carlson showed tapes of January 6 protesters inside the Capitol taking pictures, suggesting that they were “sightseers” rather than “insurrectionists.” Another video showed Capitol Police officers walking around inside the Capitol with the “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley and trying to help him open locked doors.
When asked about why McCarthy released tapes, he responded by saying:
“Well this is all about transparency,”
“It won’t just be to Tucker. Like any news organization, different people get exclusives. We watched during the 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. I think it’s better for transparency that anyone can make their own decision up, and as we walk through these, these 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. 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.”
“I have not been able— there’s 48,000 [hours of] tapes,”
“I haven’t gone through them so I don’t know, but I’d leave that up to the justice system. But the one thing I will say is, to be fair, in equal justice, if there’s any person that’s accused they should be able to have a right to see the tapes to make their own defense.”
McCarthy provided Carlson with access to some of these tapes in the interest of transparency. McCarthy says that he will release the footage to anyone who wants to see it, as it is all about transparency, and people need to make their own decisions. He added that there are many more hours of tapes than the January 6 committee previously told them, and that they will remove sensitive security information before they release them. McCarthy says that his intention is to ensure transparency and to make sure that everyone can see the footage.