Members of the now-defunct January 6 Committee howled in protest as Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly gave Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to over 40,000 hours of footage of the Capitol riot.
The Committee, hand-picked by then Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for their hatred of former President Donald Trump, only released selected clips — and doctored the evidence to push their narrative of an “insurrection.”
Critics of the committee had long argued that they should release all of the evidence.
After Axios reported that Carlson had been given the footage, committee members reacted in outrage — mostly singing from the same songsheet: namely, accusing Carlson, a skeptic of the Ukraine war, of being “pro-Putin.”
Former committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) — who opposed the certification of the 2004 election — said: “If Speaker McCarthy has indeed granted Tucker Carlson — a Fox host who routinely spreads misinformation and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s poisonous propaganda [sic] — and his producers access to this sensitive footage, he owes the American people an explanation of why he has done so and what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — whom McCarthy removed from the House Intelligence Committee due to his pattern of selective and misleading leaks — also reacted in outrage. Like Thompson, he claimed that Carlson “spews Kremlin talking points”:
Kevin McCarthy turned over Jan 6 videos to right-wing propagandist Tucker Carlson.
A man who spews Kremlin talking points. Suggests Jan 6 was a false flag. And spreads the Big Lie.
Make no mistake: This isn’t about transparency, it’s about fueling dangerous conspiracy theories.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 20, 2023
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who used false evidence as lead impeachment manager in Trump’s second trial in 2021, also echoed the claim that Carlson is a “pro-Putin journalist” — without presenting any evidence:
McCarthy giving 40,000 hrs of Jan. 6 tape to a pro-Putin journalist is an astounding ethical collapse. What security precautions were taken to keep this from becoming a roadmap for 2024 insurrection? Why isn’t it available to all media & public? Smell the MAGA propaganda coming.
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) February 20, 2023
Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — who was rewarded by Democrats for his service by being drawn out of his district — raised no objections to the selective release of footage by the committee, but protested Monday:
So Kevin McCarthy shared the surveillance footage, not with the rest of congress, investigators, or anyone like that. It was @TuckerCarlson.
The “elisestefanik’ing” of McCarthy has been breathtaking, and not the man I thought i knew before Trump. Lies lies lies
— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) February 21, 2023
Carlson, among others, has specifically raised the possibility that the committee was covering up evidence that FBI informants incited rioters, or that many of the participants entered the Capitol after being invited to do so by the Capitol Police.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This post has been updated to include comment from Adam Kinzinger, who was momentarily overlooked.