Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DNY.) criticized House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to grant Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to surveillance footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, warning that there are “security risks serious. to members of Congress and to everyone who works on Capitol Hill.”
McCarthy (R-Calif.) Carlson’s access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from January 6 earlier this month, Axios’ Mike Allen first reported. Fox News is expected to air excerpts of the film in the coming weeks.
“There was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret,” Carlson told Axios.
McCarthy echoed a similar belief at a news conference last month when he told reporters that “the American public should see all that happened instead of a report that is written (on) a political basis.”
I letter On Wednesday, Schumer said McCarthy is “needlessly exposing the Capitol complex to one of the worst security risks since 9/11.” He added that the footage reveals intimate information about the Capitol’s defenses, which could jeopardize its safety in the event of another attack.
“When security footage is released, the location of security cameras on Capitol grounds is made public, making it more difficult and dangerous for our brave Capitol Police officers to do their jobs,” Schumer wrote in the letter. .
He added: “There is also the risk of exposing the carefully laid out and highly protected plans for the continuity of government, intended to preserve our democracy in the event of an attack. Everything that anyone who would want to harm our country would love to learn.”
Schumer criticized McCarthy’s choice to allow Carlson access to the footage. Carlson has previously rioters defended the Capitol and shared conspiracy theories about who was behind the attack on Congress the day both houses met to confirm the 2020 Electoral College count. He also labeled the hearings in the House select committee inquiry on January 6 as “propaganda.”
“By hand-picking Tucker Carlson, Speaker McCarthy made it clear that this sham is only about targeting MAGA election deniers, not the truth,” Schumer said in the letter.
Other elected officials have shared similar concerns about McCarthy’s decision.
“McCarthy giving 40,000 hours of tape on January 6th to a pro-Putin journalist is a spectacular ethical disaster. What security precautions have been taken to keep this from becoming a roadmap for the 2024 uprising?” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said in a tweet.
“Let me be clear, the Senate strongly opposes the release of this security sensitive footage to Tucker Carlson and Fox News,” Schumer said. “The speaker – or any elected official – has no right to jeopardize the safety of senators or the staff of the Senate and the Capitol for their own political ends.”
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