‘Deeply Wrong’: Elon Musk Torches Jan. 6 Committee After New Video Release

By Gary Bai
Gary Bai
Gary Bai
Gary Bai is a reporter for Epoch Times Canada, covering China and U.S. news.
March 8, 2023Updated: March 9, 2023

Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday blasted the Jan. 6 committee in light of newly released surveillance video of the Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Besides misleading the public, they withheld evidence for partisan political reasons that sent people to prison for far more serious crimes than they committed,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, referring to the House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

“That is deeply wrong, legally and morally,” Musk said.

Musk, an avid Twitter user with 130 million followers, wrote in response to a part of the footage that was aired on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, which were released to the Fox News host by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). It adds to the world’s richest person’s ongoing criticisms of the federal government under the Biden administration, which included disapproving of his “Build Back Better” agenda and calling the Democratic Party the party of “hatred.”

Among the most high-profile revelation in these tapes was a clip showing Capitol Police officers walking alongside Jacob Chansley, a Jan. 6 defendant serving a 41-month sentence after pleading guilty to an obstruction charge. Chansley was unarmed and walked past several Capitol police officers.

“This is crazy. The public was misled,” Musk wrote in another post, replying to footage showing Chansley walking beside police officers in the building.

In his Monday program, Carlson said lawmakers were “lying” about the events of Jan. 6, which he said were less violent than they actually are. He noted how the tape shows Chansley to be walking around the Capitol without being arrested and later questioned the narrative that officer Sicknick died of a head injury.

“This tape overturns the single most powerful and politically useful lie that Democrats told us about January 6th,” Carlson said Monday.

The Select Jan. 6 committee, which consists of two Republicans and seven Democrats, was established in the House of Representatives on July 1, 2021. It interviewed a thousand people, including former officials of the Trump administration, in investigating what it describes as an “insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021, when protesters protested in and around the Capitol building in objection to the result of the 2020 presidential election.

Members of the committee had characterized the protesters as “dangerous extremists” and “violent mobs” mobilized by former President Donald Trump. The committee dissolved in January 2023.

‘Exculpatory Evidence’

Mike Davis, president of the Article III Project, a legal non-profit, told The Epoch Times that he believes the tapes constitute “exculpatory evidence” in the case of Jacob Chansley.

“It shows that he wasn’t a violent threat,” Davis, a former clerk under Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, said of Chansley.”At best, he should have been charged with trespassing—at best 30 days in jail. 41 months? For what?”

“I think a reasonable juror would think that he thought he could be there when the police are walking him around and not telling him to leave,” Davis added. “Even a ninety-five percent Democrat DC jury would not have found Jacob Chansley guilty if they watched that video.”

Furthermore, Davis was critical of how these tapes were not released to the Jan. 6 protestors’ defense attorneys; instead, the attorneys had to go to the Capitol in Washington to watch the tapes.

“The Supreme Court in 1963 held in Brady v. Maryland that prosecutors must make available exculpatory evidence to defense counsel. The issue here is whether they made this clearly exculpatory tape that we saw on Tucker Carlson last night available to Jacob Chansley and his attorney before [Chansley] pled guilty in August of 2021,” Davis said.

“The bottom line is, no defense attorney can go sit in a room for 41,000 hours during a 40-hour work week,” Davis said. “It would take 20 years.”

This disparity in what was reasonably achievable and the requirements of Brady, Davis said, show that the prosecutions of the protesters are corrupt.

“It shows this whole process was corrupt. It violated Brady, under the U.S. Constitution. Judge Royce Lamberth should issue a show-cause order today to ask, ‘why I should not find a Brady violation against these prosecutors,’ and ‘why I should not reverse the conviction and dismiss the complaint against Jacob Chansley.'”

Reactions to Tape Release

Political figures have had mixed responses to McCarthy’s decision to release the tapes.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) backed statements from Capitol police that said the depiction of the Jan. 6 events on Fox was “false” and “outrageous.” McConnell referred to a letter from Mange, who said Capitol police officers used “de-escalation tactics” on Jan. 6 and that Fox’s program “cherry-picked from the calmer moments” of the surveillance tapes to depict the events as more calm than they were.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)  alleged that Carlson “manipulated” his viewers in his program and called on Fox News to stop releasing the Capitol breach tapes.

Despite the critical comments by some Washington politicians, others were supportive of Carlson’s airing of the Capitol breach tapes.

“Truth is beginning to be revealed. Thank you [Speaker McCarthy], [Tucker Carlson] & company for showing America the rest of the Jan. 6 story,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote in a Twitter post on March 7. “When will judges begin applying justice equally? Doesn’t look like ‘thousands of armed insurrectionists’ to me.”

Former President Donald Trump praised Carlson’s reporting and said the tapes show the Select Jan. 6 Committee are “criminal fabricators.”

“Congratulations to Tucker Carlson on one of the biggest ‘scoops’ as a reporter in U.S. history. The New Surveillance Footage of the January 6th Events sheds an entirely different light on what actually happened. The Unselect Committee was a giant SCAM, and has now unequivocally been stamped as CRIMINAL FABRICATORS OF THIS MOST IMPORTANT DAY,” Trump wrote in a March 7 post on Truth Social, his social media platform.

“Pelosi & McConnell failed on security. The Police story is sad and difficult to watch. ‘Trump’ and most others are totally innocent, LET THEM GO FREE, NOW!” He said, referring to then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Meanwhile, McCarthy said that the tapes “belong to the American public.”

“I promised,” McCarthy told the New York Times in an interview. “I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment.”

Numerous people awaiting criminal trials related to Jan. 6 charges have requested trial delays in light of the newly emerged videos.

Meanwhile, Carlson said Monday that he would show more footage of the Capitol breach on Tuesday, including an interview with a Capitol police officer who was present in the Capitol.