McCarthy Agrees to Full Public Release of Jan. 6 Tapes

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has agreed to a full public release of the security footage recorded at the U.S. Capitol during the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

In an interview with Breitbart News that aired on Thursday, McCarthy discussed his decision to share the footage with Fox News host Tucker Carlson and said defendants who are facing charges after going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 should be able to see the footage for their own defense in court.

When asked whether he would fully release the Capitol security footage to the public, the Republican House speaker responded in the affirmative before adding that the footage would first have to go through a security review.

“We just want to make sure we go through them all, and it takes time,” he said.

McCarthy’s assurance that he would pursue a broad public release of the security footage comes as a growing number of January 6 defendants have asked for their trials to be delayed so they can review the security footage.

McCarthy told Breitbart he was making no personal judgment about what the security footage shows, but said that “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.”

Some of the Capitol security footage that Carlson aired on Monday night showed police officers leading Jacob Chansley—the so-called QAnon Shaman—around the building. Carlson described the officers as having acted like “tour guides” for Chansley, who pleaded guilty to a count of “obstruction of an official proceeding” and was sentenced to more than four and a half years in prison.

After seeing the new footage shared by Carlson, Chansley’s former attorney Albert Watkins told Fox News he had not been able to review this same footage before his client signed a plea agreement. Watkins said he had requested any evidence that could support his client’s innocence and, regardless of his own requests for the footage, said prosecutors had “an absolute duty” to provide such evidence.

By Ryan Morgan

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