McCarthy Praises Speaker Johnson For ‘Tremendous Job’ Releasing January 6 Tapes
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at a bill signing ceremony for H.J. Res. 26 at the U.S. Capitol Building on March 10, 2023 in Washington, DC. Once it gets to U.S. President Joe Biden's desk, the bill will block the enactment of the D.C. City Council's "Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022," which congressional Republicans and some Democrats said was soft on crime. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rep. Kevin McCathy (R-CA) praised his successor in the role of House speaker, Mike Johnson (R-LA), on Sunday for overseeing the long-awaited release of more January 6 footage to the public.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCarthy said, “Johnson’s doing a tremendous job with that, adding more and more” after the new speaker announced the rolling online disclosure of tens of thousands of hours of video on Friday.

Before he was ousted as speaker last month, McCarthy kickstarted the process of releasing U.S. Capitol security tapes, which began to show the public an unvarnished look at the scenes of the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, in contrast to the images shown during hearings led by the January 6 Committee when Democrats ran the House.

McCarthy shared access with then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who aired footage that included video showing police officers appearing to stand by passively as people poured into the Capitol. Also during his speakership, the House had begun to grant restricted access to other members of the media and January 6 defendants.

“The one thing I had found is, we wanted transparency. So, when we took the majority, [the] first thing I did was make sure those tapes became under the responsibility of House Administration. What we found was, [the] January 6 Committee had lied to us, that there were thousands of more hours of tape,” McCarthy said.

“And the first thing I wanted to make sure is, anybody who was in jail, had the right to a defense was able to see those tapes. So that was the priority,” he added. “The defense was able to go through those. We started bringing press in to be able to see it. We were building a portal where every time the press looked at something and they went through it, the public was able to get it.”

One particular area in which the video footage made a difference, as noted by McCarthy, was to counter allegations about Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) — who is now working to process the footage for public release on a rolling basis as chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight for the Committee on House Administration — giving a “reconnaissance tour” a day before January 6.

“Barry Loudermilk has done a tremendous job, congressman from Georgia walking through this,” McCarthy said, adding, “Remember, he got — they accused him of something that’s not true, the January 6 Committee, and the tapes actually proved that it was not true, that he wasn’t giving tours inside. And that’s really what drove this.”

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