The chairman of the now-disbanded January 6 Committee has spoken out to issue an odd warning about the “potential security risks” when it comes to U.S. Capitol security footage finally being released to Republicans and the media.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) issued his statement just a scant few hours in the wake of Axios officially breaking the news that Fox News host Tucker Carlson was given access by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to well over 41,000 hours of footage from Capitol surveillance cameras from the day of Jan. 6, 2021 — the day that a crowd of people rushed into the U.S. Capitol building, disrupting lawmakers who were meeting to officially certify the 2020 election victory of President Joe Biden.
“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,” stated Thompson.
“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 went on.
— Patricia Zengerle (@ReutersZengerle) February 20, 2023
A spokesperson for Fox news officially confirmed the information in the Axios report, which stated that excerpts will start airing over the course of the coming weeks.
Making the claim that Carlson is just an overt dealer of misinformation, Thompson claimed that McCarthy “owes the American people an explanation of why” he has offered up the footage to a host with Fox News and “what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake.”
McCarthy has, as of writing, not chosen to issue a public comment about the disclosure to Carlson, but the speaker did express this past month that he is going to be expecting to release the tapes because of the “politicization” he thinks has been fostered by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the January 6 Committee.
The members of the January 6 Committee did choose to make public a few clips of security footage during its hearing held this past summer, including one such clips which highlighted Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sprinting through a hallway in the Capitol.
Carlson explained to Axios that he thinks that there was “never any legitimate reason” for this footage to be kept a secret.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) expressed in a tweet that this video footage will also be made available to the defendants of January 6. “Americans deserve to see the truth, not a one sided narrative and unfair two tiered justice system,” she concluded in another tweet.