House Republicans announced on Friday that members of the media and other qualified individuals will have access to view security footage from the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.
“House Republicans are continuing to deliver on our promise to bring transparency and accountability to the People’s House by increasing access to security footage of the U.S. Capitol from January 5th and 6th, 2021,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) reportedly said in a statement.
GOP lawmakers first announced earlier this year they would begin to slowly roll out to individual news agencies more than 40,000 hours of security footage from the Capitol breach to networks to counter the “politicization” fostered by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the January 6th Committee.
The Committee on House Administration published a set of guidelines that would allow members of the U.S. media, government-focused nonprofit organizations, and attorneys for defendants facing charges related to the January 6 to submit requests to view the footage.
“This announcement stands in stark contrast to the previous Democrat leadership, who blocked access to the footage and only showed carefully edited clips to the public,” Loudermilk, who chairs the administration committee’s oversight subpanel, added.
According to program rules, those seeking access to the security tapes would need to set an appointment that limits them to watch the footage for three hours at a time, once a week. Spectators are prohibited from recording the tapes from secured terminals inside the Capitol building and may only be given portions of the footage at the committee’s discretion.
Here’s the instructions on how to see January 6th Capitol video footage and who is allowed access. pic.twitter.com/7N3Rm4SU0F
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) September 3, 2023
For more than two years, U.S. citizens have called on lawmakers to release the footage to the public, expressing concerns over how media outlets curate the timeline of events.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) announced in May that three news media outlets received footage from the Capitol breach to bring the American people more transparency about what happened that day.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released “unfettered access” of the Capitol security footage to investigative journalist and Just the News founder John Solomon, senior writer for American Greatness Julie Kelly, and an unidentified third news outlet.
McCarthy first gave the exclusive surveillance footage to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who reported on several tapes showing two Capitol police officers escorting Jacob Chansley, known as the “QAnon Shaman,” throughout the building.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called from the Senate floor for Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch to pull Carlson off the air, and reporters from several sites hounded McCarthy for giving Carlson’s team access to the video.
Schumer accused McCarthy in a February letter to his colleagues of potentially causing another “attack” on the Capitol by releasing the security footage from January 6, according to The Hill.
“The speaker is needlessly exposing the Capitol complex to one of the worst security risks since 9/11,” Schumer said in a letter to Senate Democrats. “The footage Speaker McCarthy is making available to Fox News is a treasure trove of closely held information about how the Capitol complex is protected and its public release would compromise the safety of the Legislative Branch and allow those who want to commit another attack to learn how Congress is safeguarded.”