Scores of news organizations — including The Washington Post — on Friday demanded congressional leaders release a trove of surveillance footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that the House speaker provided exclusively to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has downplayed the violence.
“Without full public access to the complete historical record, there is concern that an ideologically-based narrative of an already polarizing event will take hold in the public consciousness, with destabilizing risks to the legitimacy of Congress, the Capitol Police, and the various federal investigations and prosecutions of Jan. 6 crimes,” the letter stated.
The Post is part of another coalition of news outlets, which includes the Associated Press and the New York Times, that sent a letter to McCarthy seeking access to the material.
Carlson, the most watched prime-time host on Fox News, has yet to air the unseen footage given to him by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
On Monday, he said his producers have “unfettered” access to about 44,000 hours of security footage recorded when hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral college win. Carlson said that his team has been analyzing the content “and how it contradicts or not the story we’ve been told for more than two years,” and that his producers would spend the week reviewing the video and air what they found next week. His show did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
McCarthy has remained silent about the footage, and has not spoken publicly or responded to questions about the release, which was first reported by Axios. His office did not respond to a request for comment.
Carlson has repeatedly cast doubt on official accounts of what happened on Jan. 6 and has claimed it was a “false flag” operation.
McCarthy’s decision to provide the video to Carlson also raised concerns such as whether Capitol Police will need to change the location of security cameras. Some members of the House questioned why the speaker would grant the content to a Fox News host who has promoted baseless accusations about the attack.
The Jan. 6 attack led to the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history, with more than 930 people federally charged so far, The Post previously reported. Five people died as a result of the violence, and more than 100 members of law enforcement were injured by the mob, many of whom wielded bear spray, baseball bats and other weapons.