Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy promised to release the 40,000 hours of footage from the events in and around the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. He then partially fulfilled that promise by sending the footage to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, with the footage promised to be released to other news outlets by the end of September 2023.
“Starting September 2023, the Committee will allow access to terminals by representatives of U.S. news outlets (not limited to press accredited through congressional galleries), Qualifying NonProfit Organizations, as well as defendants charged with crimes related to January 6, 2021 and their counsel, and individuals who were physically harmed on January 6, 2021 at the United States Capitol and their counsel,” a statement shared by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed.
That promise is yet to be fulfilled, with Speaker McCarthy saying, “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 wan. So we’ve created the process to make that start happening.”
Despite that, the media is already freaking out, with the media companies that originally clutched their pearls when he promised to release the footage now suing to demand access to it, presumably because they don’t want to miss out on any profits that could come from using it to bash Republicans.
In fact, nine major media organizations are suing the DOJ and FBI and demanding access to the footage. Those nine media organizations are, among others, The New York Times, CNN, the Associated Press, and ProPublica.
That demand for the footage to be released is a big change in outlook from the MSM outlets that were originally freaking out over its release. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, for example, said, “It just shows how ridiculously, outrageously irresponsible of Kevin McCarthy to send security tapes to a conspiracy theorist. Again, just mind-bending, that he sends this information to somebody who is supporting an insurrection against the United States of America and provides security tapes. That’s what any insurrectionist, future insurrectionist, would want to see. It is really it’s frightening. Kevin McCarthy needs to get the tapes back. And he needs to get lawyers to have documents signed that they’re not going to be used anywhere else in the future, or any of its contents revealed.”
He added, “It is really shocking. It puts the Capitol Hill police in danger. It puts members of Congress in danger. It puts everybody who works at the United States Capitol in danger, but he did it. Like you said, where are the tapes now?”
And as the MSM demands access to the tapes, the more conservative and populist elements in the GOP are demanding McCarthy speed up the release process as well. For example, Rep. Clay Higgins, a Republican from Louisiana, recently demanded the footage be released during an appearance on the podcast “The Benny Show.”
He said, “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.”
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