Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has given Fox News’ Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from Jan. 6, 2021.
Fox News confirmed the receipt of the footage, which was originally reported by Axios, in an email to the Epoch Times.
Reportedly, Carlson’s producers were on the Hill as early as last week to begin going through the footage.
The U.S. Capitol Police earlier provided the now-defunct House Jan. 6 Select Committee with around 14,000 hours of footage, meaning that Carlson has access to more materials than the House panel did.
Carlson has two programs: his primetime program “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which earlier this month drew in over 3.5 million viewers in a week, and “Tucker Carlson Originals,” a new series of documentaries by Carlson. Carlson could draw from the footage provided by McCarthy for both programs.
During the last Congress, the Jan. 6 panel pushed a narrative of events which portrayed the Capitol breach as the culmination of a months-long effort by Trump and his supporters to overthrow the U.S. government.
Notably that panel, formed in a mostly party-line vote, included only two Republicans: former Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), both virulent Trump critics.
Thus, the narrative adopted by the panel was criticized for being unfairly weighted against the former president.
On his show, Carlson has often been critical of this narrative.
In the past, Carlson has dismissed Jan. 6 as an “outbreak of mob violence, a forgettably minor outbreak by recent standards.”
Republicans have long planned their own investigations into the events of that day.
Carlson will now have access to photos and videos that until now have been hidden behind congressional red tape.
“[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret,” Carlson told Axios after receiving access to the material.
McCarthy released the tapes following a call to that effect from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
Gaetz was one of McCarthy’s most outspoken critics during the speaker battle in January.
During a Jan. 13 appearance on Carlson’s program, Gaetz called for release of the footage.
By Joseph Lord