HomePoliticsJanuary 6 tapes are "slowly" rolling out to networks besides Fox News

January 6 tapes are “slowly” rolling out to networks besides Fox News

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Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday he would “slowly” distribute more than 40,000 hours of security footage of the January 6 attack on Congress to networks other than Fox News.

Related: Mike Pence: History will hold Donald Trump responsible for the attack on the Capitol

“We will slowly roll out to each individual news agency,” McCarthy told Sunday Morning Futures, a show broadcast by Fox News. “They can also come and see the tapes. Let everyone see them to make their own judgement.

McCarthy has so far only shown Fox News the tapes, giving access to primetime host Tucker Carlson.

The move was rejected by Congressional Democrats and Republican critics of Donald Trump — who incited the attack on the Capitol in an attempt to undo his election defeat — even before Carlson showed his first clips this week.

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Carlson claimed the tapes showed a “largely peaceful chaos,” that Trump supporters were behaving like tourists, and that many of the more than 1,000 people arrested, some convicted of crimes including seditious conspiracy, were falsely targeted.

Carlson continued to show the footage even as charges in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News by a voting machine company revealed that Fox News hosts said in private messages that Trump lied about voter fraud in the 2020 election and Carlson himself alleged “passionately hates” the former president.

On Sunday, McCarthy claimed he did not “give” the tapes to Carlson.

“I didn’t give the tapes,” he said. “I allow [him] to come see them just like an exclusive with someone else. My goal here is transparency.”

McCarthy also employed a general right-wing talking point, comparing January 6 — a violent attack linked to nine deaths, including suicides by law enforcement officers — to racial justice protests following the police killing of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, which turned violent at times.

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McCarthy said, “Why was I looking at federal courts, why was I looking at burning cities, federal agencies or something, and no one was arresting there? I think we should have equal justice in this country.”

Nancy Mace, a relatively moderate Republican from South Carolina, tried to make the same point in CNN’s State of the Union.

While she said the tapes should have been given to “every media outlet,” Mace added: “We saw very few arrests when there were attacks by … members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. I had my house sprayed two summers ago and no one has been judged for that.”

Mace was not pressured by her host. But other Republicans spoke unfavorably of McCarthy’s decision to give the Capitol tapes to Carlson, and how Carlson used them.

At a dinner in Washington on Saturday night, former Vice President Mike Pence, whom the mob had targeted on Jan. 6, said, “Make no mistake, what happened that day was a disgrace. And it mocks the decency to portray it in any other way.”

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Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday: “I think the American people deserve to see all the footage from that day, and all the footage will not be , you know, tourism at the Capitol.

“It will show a very dark, tragic day that I witnessed first hand, including our Capitol police being attacked, 140 of them wounded, two pipe bombs. Killed a Capitol police officer and killed a protester. That’s not a good day.”

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