Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been given exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the Capitol storming on Jan. 6, 2021, Axios reported. Excerpts are expected to begin airing in coming weeks.
Carlson’s producers started looking through the videos last week after being given access by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, anonymous sources close to the speaker told Axios. The footage reportedly includes multiple angles from across the Capitol grounds.
“[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret,” Carlson told Axios. “If there was ever a question that’s in the public’s interest to know, it’s what actually happened on January 6. By definition, this video will reveal it. It’s impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that.”
On Jan. 6, 2021, a mob of protesters numbering in the thousands broke into the Capitol building to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election. The event was investigated by a congressional committee, which urged that former President Donald Trump be charged with multiple crimes, including insurrection, for allegedly encouraging it.
Carlson, whose show is among the highest-rated on cable TV, has described the storming as “a forgettably minor outbreak” of mob violence. He has long criticized the government for what he sees as overhyping the event, allegedly as a pretext for cracking down on civil liberties.
Carlson previously produced a three-part series on the storming called “Patriot Purge,” which explores “what exactly happened on 1/6 and how much of what were told was a lie,” according to a description. After its release, two Fox News contributors resigned from the network, with one calling it “totally outrageous,” as reported by the New York Times.
Some new footage of the storming was shared by the Jan. 6 committee last year, including nearly seven minutes of footage of Congressional leaders organizing a response to the attack.
McCarthy hinted last month that he favored the release of additional footage. “I think the American public should actually see all what happened instead of a report that’s written for a political basis,” he said, referring to the committee’s final report.