The chairman of the defunct Jan. 6 Committee issued a warning that “potential security risks” may be in play, just hours after U.S. Capitol security footage from the Capitol riot was released to the media.
After Axios broke the news that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gave Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from Jan. 6, 2021, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) issued a statement on the subject, claiming that the media had a responsibility to use the material with caution.
“When the Select Committee obtained access to U.S. Capitol Police video footage, it was treated with great sensitivity given concerns about the security of lawmakers, staff, and the Capitol complex,” Thompson said.
“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. It’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly,” he added.
The report was confirmed by a Fox News spokesperson who said that excerpts will begin to air in the coming weeks.
Thompson went on to claim that Carlson “routinely spreads misinformation” and said that McCarthy “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.”
McCarthy has yet to make any public comment on the disclosure of the documents but did say last month that he was looking to release the tapes due to the “politicization” he believed had been fostered by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the January 6 Committee.
During the summer hearings of the Jan. 6 Committee last year, the group did air some clips of security footage, including one showing Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) running through a Capitol hallway.
Carlson told Axios he believes there was “never any legitimate reason” for the footage to remain secret.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said in a tweet the footage will also be available to January 6 defendants. “Americans deserve to see the truth, not a one sided narrative and unfair two tiered justice system,” she said in another tweet.
However, other Democrats have expressed concern over the release of the tapes with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), another member of the Jan. 6 Committee, questioning if the release would become a “roadmap” for a 2024 “insurrection.”
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