Capitol Police Had No Idea Republicans Were Giving January 6 Footage to Tucker Carlson
Repeated requests to review the footage were ignored.
The Capitol Police were blindsided by Republicans’ decision to give security footage of the January 6 attack to Tucker Carlson, the department’s lawyer said Friday. Moreover, Capitol Police’s repeated requests to review the footage before it was released were ignored.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has come under fire for giving Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of security footage from the 24 hours surrounding the insurrection. The Fox News host has used cherry-picked videos to completely sanitize the events of January 6, despite knowing full well himself what actually happened.
The footage “was not previewed with the Capitol Police nor was the Capitol Police informed before that access was granted,” CPD general counsel Thomas DeBiaise said in a sworn affidavit filed Friday.
“Of the numerous clips shown during the Tucker Carlson show on March 6 and 7, 2023, I was shown only one clip before it aired,” DeBiaise said. “The other approximately 40 clips … were never shown to me nor anyone else from the Capitol Police.”
DeBiaise also noted that the police force learned Carlson had gained access to the footage through media reports, not from House Republicans directly.
Both Carlson and McCarthy insisted that the footage was cleared with Capitol Police before it was released. McCarthy also intends to make the January 6 footage available to the defense lawyers for people charged in connection with the riot.
The California Republican insisted the footage was already made available to defendants under former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But a Pelosi spokesperson said she never authorized access to the footage because she felt that wasn’t under her purview, but that of “security officials.”
Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger said earlier this month that once footage is given to lawmakers, he has little control over what they do with it. But he also slammed Carlson’s use of the footage, saying it minimized the violence of January 6 and was “misleading” and “offensive” about the Capitol Police’s actions.
Carlson used the footage to do exactly what people feared: present an alternate version of January 6 that sought to prove the rioters had done nothing wrong. His coverage was so bad that even some Republican lawmakers condemned it.