Democrats Criticize McCarthy’s Decision to Release Jan. 6 Tapes

Democrats Criticize McCarthy's Decision to Release Jan. 6 Tapes

( – Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy allowed Fox News personality Tucker Carlson exclusive rights to review the footage from the January 6 Capitol riot, according to Axios. The decision sparked heavy criticism from Democrats, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) helped lead the outrage.

Schumer sent a letter to his fellow senators outlining his two concerns. The most pressing is the potential security risk of giving any reporter footage officials don’t want a media outlet to release to the public. In this case, the material reveals the placement of the Capitol Building’s surveillance cameras and escape routes — information that could help insurgents plan future attacks.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the previous chair of the January 6 House Select Committee, echoed the sentiment. As part of the special committee allowed to view the footage, he feels the footage’s public release could pose serious security issues. He stated during a briefing that there were specs the videos made accessible “that should not be made available to the general public.”

The second issue is Carlson himself. According to Schumer, McCarthy’s “handpicking” the Fox News host and offering footage access is merely “pandering to MAGA election deniers.” The Senate leader fears Carlson might manipulate the material to “promote the Big Lie, distort reality, and espouse bogus conspiracy theories about January 6.” NPR reported that Carlson has previously pushed the narrative that Antifa, or even the FBI, was actually responsible for the devastation on that historic day.

McCarthy promised to make the footage available to the news outlet as part of his bid for House Speaker, according to The New York Times. The House majority leader said he decided to release the 40,000+ hours of footage because it’s all Americans’ property. He says everyone has the right to judge the January 6 narrative for themselves — and although Fox News will have exclusive first rights to share it, other media outlets will eventually have access to the footage as well.

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