Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) expressed strong support for his successor, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), for his handling of the release of additional footage from January 6, 2021. McCarthy, in a recent interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” commended Johnson for effectively managing the disclosure process, which has been a significant point of interest for many seeking a fuller understanding of the events at the U.S. Capitol on that day.
During McCarthy’s time as speaker, he initiated the release of the U.S. Capitol security tapes, aiming to provide a more transparent and unedited perspective on the Capitol breach, differing from the selectively shown footage by the then Democrat-led January 6 Committee. McCarthy’s decision to share access with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson was a pivotal step in this direction, revealing footage where Capitol police were seen not actively engaging as individuals entered the building.
Furthering this transparency, McCarthy ensured that January 6 defendants and various media outlets could view the footage, emphasizing the importance of due process and fair defense. He noted that a key focus was to ensure that anyone detained in relation to January 6 had access to the tapes for their legal defense. In addition, a public portal was being developed to allow broader access to the footage, following media review and vetting.
One significant outcome of this footage release, as highlighted by McCarthy, was its role in disproving accusations against Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA). The January 6 Committee had alleged that Loudermilk gave a “reconnaissance tour” prior to the Capitol incident. However, the tapes refuted these claims, clearing Loudermilk of the accusations. Loudermilk is now involved in making the footage publicly available in a rolling manner, overseeing the process as chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight for the Committee on House Administration.
McCarthy’s remarks reflect a broader Republican effort to enhance transparency and provide a comprehensive account of the January 6 events. This initiative underscores the party’s commitment to challenging the previous narrative and ensuring public access to crucial information regarding the Capitol breach.