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Former House Jan 6 committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) claimed on Wednesday that he and other members of the January 6th Committee had not had access to all of the footage of that day’s events, saying that “a team of employees” had been responsible for going through the video.
CNN political reporter Alayna Treene shared Thompson’s comments in a series of tweets, saying, “[Thompson], former chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said lawmakers were never given that type of access to the footage last Congress. ‘It’s strictly a new policy that the new speaker has put in place,’ he told CNN.”
“Thompson said he doesn’t think any of the Jan. 6 members themselves ever had access to the footage — they let only staff view it,” Treene continued her report. “‘I’m actually not aware of any member of the committee who had access. We had a team of employees who kind of went through the video.'”
Thompson said he doesn’t think any of the Jan. 6 members themselves ever had access to the footage — they let only staff view it. "I'm actually not aware of any member of the committee who had access. We had a team of employees who kind of went through the video."
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) March 8, 2023
Thompson’s claim comes after Fox News host Tucker Carlson — who was given access to thousands of hours of video from January 6 after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) took the gavel — aired several clips that appeared to show that several key Democratic talking points had been presented without necessary context.
Among them was a clip of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) — who has been labeled “pro-insurrection” by the far Left because he raised a fist in support of peaceful protesters prior to entering the Capitol that day — running toward an exit to evacuate the building. The clip shared by the committee only showed Hawley and was used to suggest that he was running in fear of the people he had supported just hours earlier.
But footage aired earlier this week by Carlson suggested that Hawley was not the only one running from the building at that point — he was simply the last in a long line of senators from both parties who were being escorted from the building.
“The actual videotape shows that Hawley was one of many lawmakers being ushered out of the building by Capitol Hill police officers, and in fact, Hawley was at the back of the pack. The coward tape was a lie,” Carlson remarked after airing the footage.
Thompson, when asked about that specific clip, doubled down: “I stand by the tape.”
In addition to the “employees” Thompson claimed were responsible for handling the video footage, the January 6 committee hired former ABC News president James Goldston to “produce” the entire affair for “maximum impact” — a move which also could have impacted which clips were shown to the public and which ended up on the cutting room floor.
“The plan is to present the case in six tight, thematic episodes that will unfold in prime time and during the day, running 90 to 150 minutes. The idea is to make them as compelling as the marathon Watergate hearings — some of which stretched for hours — but tailored for the streaming era and a media world fueled by viral moments,” The New York Times reported at the time.