House Republican leadership Tuesday defended Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s exclusive release of tens of thousands of hours of Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot security footage to Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, saying it was Democrats who cherry-picked and publicly released sensitive film from that day.
Democrats criticized Mr. McCarthy last week after it became known he granted access to Mr. Carlson’s producers to “44,000 hours” of surveillance footage from inside the Capitol when pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the building to protest the certification of the 2020 presidential election. The Democrats claimed it would reveal security closely guarded security measures around the Capitol.
However, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, said the Democratic leadership of the Jan. 6 select committee were the ones who carelessly revealed security measures around the Capitol when they released 14,000 hours of security footage.
“They actually released a lot of video that was very sensitive. I mean, they literally released video of Vice President Pence exiting the Capitol showing the route that he takes,” he said.
Mr. Scalise noted that whatever is publicly released will be scrutinized to ensure that no “sensitive information” that was not already released last Congress by the Democratic Majority is exposed.
“What Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi did was expose a lot of sensitive information, including what was an undisclosed location, where the leadership of both parties went after her daughter was videoing inside of that military base,” he said, “which wasn’t supposed to happen.”
House and Senate Democratic leadership called Mr. McCarthy’s decision to release the footage to Mr. Carlson “egregious” and that it risked setting off another “insurrection” type incident at the Capitol.
“The apparent transfer of video footage represents an egregious security breach that endangers the hardworking women and men of the United States Capitol Police, who valiantly defended our democracy with their lives at risk on that fateful day,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat, said in a Dear Colleague letter.
Mr. Scalise revealed that news organizations will eventually get access to the same security footage that Mr. McCarthy gave to Mr. Carlson’s program.
Several media outlets last Friday called on the speaker in a letter to grant access to this footage.