House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Thursday he is pushing for the disclosure of unreleased U.S. Capitol security footage from January 6, 2021.
Taking a shot at the January 6 Committee and its “report that’s written for a political basis,” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill the American public “should see” what happened on that day. “We’re looking through that,” he added. “I want to be very thoughtful about it. But yes, I’m engaged to do that.”
.@SpeakerMcCarthy says he’s going to release all of the security footage from January 6. pic.twitter.com/RHaSnwJDAp
— The Dirty Truth (Josh) (@AKA_RealDirty) January 12, 2023
The comments follow Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) saying on Wednesday that McCarthy “told us he’s going to get the evidence out in front of the American people and that means releasing the 14,000 hours of tapes that have been hidden.”
Gaetz, who was speaking with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, added that the footage “would give more full context to that day rather than the cherry-picked moments the January 6 Committee tried to use to inflame and further divide our country.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz: The American people are finally going to get the truth about Jan 6. pic.twitter.com/Lcz2EdfwhI
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 10, 2023
On January 6, 2021, a crowd of people entered the U.S. Capitol, disrupting lawmakers meeting to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. A system of cameras in and around the Capitol captured more than 14,000 hours of footage between noon and 8 p.m. that day, according to the Capitol Police. Though congressional committees controlled by Democrats, law enforcement, and more were given access to the archive, the Capitol Police warned that attorneys for January 6 defendants should not be given the footage without “safeguards in place to prevent its copy and dissemination,” and the government raised national security concerns.
After a year and a half of investigations and hearings which featured some security video clips, the January 6 Committee last month released its final report, recommended charges against former President Donald Trump, and began to release dozens of witness materials. McCarthy was one of several House Republicans the January 6 Committee recommended for ethics sanctions after defying its subpoenas.
House Republicans conducted their own investigation without subpoena power and released a rebuttal report that Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), the leader of the effort, said “exposes the partisanship, incompetence and indifference that led to the disaster on January 6 and it the leading role Speaker Pelosi and her office played in the security failure at the Capitol.”
McCarthy withdrew his five picks for the January 6 Committee in the summer of 2021 and selected five Republicans to be part of the Republican investigation after Pelosi refused to allow Banks and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to become members. Instead, Pelosi picked Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to be part of the committee.
While working to woo GOP holdouts in his bid to become speaker, McCarthy agreed to a provision in the House rules package for the new session of Congress to demand the transfer of records from the January 6th Committee to the House Administration Committee by January 17. The resolution also included the establishment of a select committee to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government.