Maryland Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin called out Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for giving Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage taken on January 6, 2021.
Raskin called McCarthy’s release of the Capitol riot footage to Carlson “an astounding ethical collapse" and suggested making the footage available would pose a major security threat.
"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."
McCarthy sought the January 6 footage as far back as November 2022 when he demanded the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the insurrection preserve all gathered evidence, testimony and transcripts—which was already mandated under House rules.
McCarthy wrote in a letter to Mississippi Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson—who chaired the House Select Committee—that House Republicans would investigate on their own “why the Capitol complex was not secure," arguing the committee had spent too much time focusing on Trump's actions that day.
According to Axios, the first publication to report McCarthy shared the footage with Carlson, excerpts of the footage will air on Fox News in the coming weeks.
Carlson told the publication “there was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret" and said it's "impossible for [him] to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that.”
Many have criticized McCarthy since news the footage had been shared with Fox went public.
Carlson has been perhaps Fox News' biggest mouthpiece for lies about election integrity.
However, according to a recent filing in Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit against Fox News, the network's hosts and producers privately shared misgivings and criticisms about Trump's falsehoods about election fraud even as the network continued to promote his claims.
Carlson himself cast doubt on Trump's claims in text messages to his producer, Alex Pfeiffer, referring to Trump as a "demonic force" and a "destroyer" in the aftermath of the Capitol riot.
In fact, Pfeiffer agreed with Carlson, responding that “many on ‘our side’ are being reckless demagogues right now" as Trump railed against Fox News for calling the state of Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden on Electon Night.
Carlson worried the network's decision would have an adverse impact, saying the team had "worked really hard to build what [they] have" and that it infuriated him to see "those f**kers... destroying our credibility."