Democrats Assail Fox News’ Possession of Jan. 6 Capitol Video

(Bloomberg) -- Tucker Carlson’s access to unpublicized footage of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is an “egregious security breach” by Republicans, the House’s top Democrat says.

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Democrats will hold a virtual conference call on Wednesday to discuss the details of the thousands of hours of security footage that, Axios first reported Monday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy provided to the Fox News host.

“At present, we are working to confirm the precise nature of the video transfer, particularly as it relates to the events connected to the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021,” Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote in a letter to colleagues.

A McCarthy spokesman would not comment Tuesday on whether the speaker’s office had given Carlson the videos. The Capitol Police wouldn’t comment on the details of the transfer of the video.

“When congressional leadership or congressional oversight committees ask for things like this, we must give it to them,” Chief Tom Manger said in a statement.

Carlson, who has promoted conspiracy theories surrounding the insurrection by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump, said his team is reviewing about 44,000 hours of footage.

“Our producers, some of our smartest producers, have been looking at this stuff and trying to figure out what it means and how it contradicts or not the story we’ve been told for more than two years,” Carlson said on his program Monday night.

There was no immediate response to requests Tuesday for more comment from Fox News.

McCarthy had warned in November that Republicans would begin their own inquiry into the events of Jan. 6. He sent a letter to Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the now-defunct special House committee that investigated the Capitol assault, demanding that the panel’s records be preserved.

Thompson said in a statement on Tuesday that “it’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly.”

When his panel obtained access to Capitol Police video, Thompson said, the security of lawmakers, staff and the Capitol complex were all taken into consideration. The panel, he said, consulted with Capitol Police before releasing images.

“If Speaker McCarthy has indeed granted Tucker Carlson – a Fox host who routinely spreads misinformation and Putin’s poisonous propaganda – and his producers access to this sensitive footage, he owes the American people an explanation of why he has done so and what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake,” Thompson said.

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