Newly elected Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has spent his first few days as the House leader fulfilling some of his commitments to members of the House Freedom Caucus. On Sunday, he told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo that he is focusing on deciding how to release thousands of hours of U.S. Capitol security video involving the events of January 6, 2021.
McCarthy told Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” that he sees the publication of the “Twitter Files” disclosures by Elon Musk as a possible model for disclosing the video footage to the American public.
He said publication of the video is needed after the “politicization” of the protests that occurred that day by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her hand-picked January 6 Committee.
McCarthy said the way Musk disclosed materials he discovered after taking control of Twitter last year is an appropriate model for releasing the January 6 recordings. He said, “The best way to handle this is exactly the way Elon Musk did. Just put all the information out there and let people see what is truth and what is not.”
In saying he disfavors a release made up of video edited and packaged, McCarty said, “The best way to do that is to release the tapes. People can know for themselves instead of picking and choosing what views they want people to see.”
The security cameras operated by the U.S. Capitol Police collectively captured over 14,000 hours of video showing what took place in and around the Capitol building between noon and 8 p.m. on January 6.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was one of the Freedom Caucus members who engaged in tough negotiations with McCarthy during the four days of voting by the House to elect a new Speaker. The January 6 videos were a large part of those discussions, and Gaetz has been vocal with the media in demanding their release.
.@RepMattGaetz Responds To Claim That Releasing The 14k Hours Of 1/6 Footage Would Jeopardize Security
"I think that it's an argument made by the DOJ because they don't want to expose the extent to which there might have been federal assets or agents enhancing criminal acuity." pic.twitter.com/Jv1Fycyfyz
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 15, 2023
Gaetz has said the footage will “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.” He also said the videos could disclose evidence some of the January 6 defendants might use in their defenses against charges filed by the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ).
Gaetz sharply criticized the excuses that the DOJ and Pelosi have given to maintain secrecy about what the videos show. He said he believes “they don’t want to expose the extent to which there might have been federal assets or agents enhancing criminal acuity.”
On Sunday, McCarthy told Bartiromo that he still needs to see the videos that have been withheld.