Congress Pressurized By News Outlets To Release Jan 6 Footage

Janet Yellen Congress

On Friday, many media outlets requested from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy the thousands of hours of surveillance footage from the Capitol that he gave exclusively to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson following the disturbance on January 6.

Senior Democrats in Congress have lambasted McCarthy for releasing the film to Fox News, calling it an “egregious security lapse” that puts the Capitol building at risk.

Congress In Possession Of Jan 6 Capitol Attack Video

On behalf of 10 media outlets including Axios, CNN, and Politico, attorney Charles Tobin wrote to congressional leadership on January 6, 2021, requesting any closed-circuit video camera footage captured on and around the Capitol on that date.

This extraordinary public interest in understanding what occurred on January 6 spans political lines, the letter says. There is a fear that an ideologically-based narrative of an already polarising event will take hold of the public consciousness without full public access to the complete historical record, which could threaten the legitimacy of Congress, the Capitol Police, and the numerous federal investigations and indictments of January 6 crimes.

The Associated Press, NBC News, The New York Times, and The Washington Post were among the other news organizations that sought entry. According to Tobin, he also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. McCarthy, however, stood by his decision to grant Carlson, who has consistently disputed official versions of the Hill disturbance, access to the video.

“I was asked in the press about these records and I replied they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine helps anyone make their judgment,” he stated to the New York Times.

Earlier this week, New York Democrat and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries indicated that his staff is considering the decision’s impact on national security.