House Republicans have declared that qualified individuals and members of the media will be able to view security footage from the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
“House Republicans are continuing to deliver on our promise to bring transparency and accountability to the People’s House by increasing access to security footage of the U.S. Capitol from January 5th and 6th, 2021,” Georgia Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk said in a statement.
“This announcement stands in stark contrast to the previous Democrat leadership, who blocked access to the footage and only showed carefully edited clips to the public,” Loudermilk added.
To counter the “politicization” promoted by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the January 6th Committee, GOP lawmakers first announced earlier this year that they would start to gradually release to individual news agencies more than 40,000 hours of security footage from the Capitol breach.
The U.S. media, nonprofit organizations with a focus on government, and the legal counsel for defendants charged in connection with the events of January 6 were all permitted to submit requests to view the footage under a set of rules that were published by the Committee on House Administration.
Loudermilk, who heads the administration committee’s oversight subpanel, continued in his statement: “This announcement stands in stark contrast to the previous Democrat leadership, who blocked access to the footage and only showed carefully edited clips to the public.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy released over 40,000 hours of unseen footage from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson earlier this year.
McCarthy has promised to give the public and media access to the tapes after his team reviews all of the footage to address any potential security concerns.
“This is the challenge. The Democrats told us it was only 14,000 hours of tapes, Lo and behold, we take the majority and it’s 42,000 hours, so that would take me years to go all the way through. Yeah, I think the public should see what’s happened to them. We’ve worked with the Capitol Police [to] tell us about [any] section that there was a problem. And that takes a long time. But we want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to come and see what they want,” McCarthy said
Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican who appeared on the podcast “The Benny Show,” recently demanded the release of the footage.
“I’m one of the ones pushing for the release, by the way, of all the J6 video,” Higgins said. “We got 60,000 hours of video from Jan. 4, 5, and 6 — I want it all released to the American people so that we can crowdsource that investigation.”
Several mainstream media outlets are turning up the heat on McCarthy to get access to the footage.
“Nine major media organizations have sued the Justice Department and the FBI for access to the video footage of the Jan. 6 insurrection. The nine include The New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, and ProPublica. Public materials must be truly public. If Mr. McCarthy can give the stash to one talk show host, he can, and should, give it to every media organization and the public at large,” The Post-Gazette reported.
“That’s why the speaker must release the material to everyone. Everyone must have the chance to watch it and decide the narrative, and the more narratives we have, the better chance the public has of knowing what happened,” the outlet added.