U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) could only review one of the dozens of videos from Jan. 6, 2021, that Fox News host Tucker Carlson broadcast after receiving access from Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, a lawyer for the police agency says.
The single video that was reviewed was available to the public before Carlson aired it and was approved for broadcast.
“The other approximately 40 clips, which were not from the Sensitive List, were never shown to me nor anyone else from the Capitol Police,” Tad DiBiase, the USCP lawyer, said in a sworn declaration to a federal court on March 17.
Republicans quickly responded.
“We worked with the Capitol Police ahead of time to identify any security-sensitive footage and made sure it wasn’t released,” Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), told The Epoch Times in an email. “In subsequent conversations, the USCP General Counsel confirmed that the department concluded there are no security concerns with what was released.”
A Fox spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
Carlson said on his show that “before airing any of this video, we checked first with the Capitol Police,” adding, “We’re happy to say their reservations were minor and for the most part, they were reasonable.”
Carlson aired dozens of clips from surveillance footage that had not been made public, including videos showing Jacob Chansley, who was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to obstruction, being escorted by a USCP officer around the Capitol.
Chansley is planning to file a motion to vacate Chansley’s sentence following the release of the footage, which lawyers for the man say they were not given.
Other clips showed Ray Epps, who has not been charged, was at the Capitol for at least 30 minutes longer than he told a House committee; USCP officer Brian Sicknick walking around the Capitol; and revealed the former Jan. 6 House panel had left out crucial context when it showed a video of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) fleeing the Capitol.
DiBiase said that he received a request from Republicans on Feb. 8 to access the same footage provided to the panel, which was dominated by Democrats and went defunct when Congress changed hands in January. On Feb. 20, USCP officials learned from news reports that Carlson and his staffers had been provided access to the footage. Seven days later, a staffer with the House Administration Committee asked for the sensitive list or a list of cameras that show sensitive information, such as evacuation routes.
The USCP informed the committee’s staff director that the agency wanted to review “every footage clip, whether it was on the sensitive list or not, if it was going to be made public,” according to the new filing. He said that protocol was followed by prosecutors and the former Jan. 6 committee but not by impeachment managers.
The filing came in response to William Pope, among the Jan. 6 defendants who have asked for trial delays so they can access footage that may prove to be exculpatory to their cases.
Pope told the court in a recent motion that he lacks access to “more than 99 percent of discovery” even though more than two years have elapsed since he was arrested. He would like the footage public to be made public.
Pope wrote that prosecutors have opposed making much of the footage available because the Legislative Branch was the original evidence owner. “However, now that the Legislative Branch has given defendants their blessing to have due process access to legislative files, the government’s already weak argument to deny due process has collapsed. This court should immediately grant me full access to discovery,” he said.
Prosecutors responded that they have “endeavored to provide meaningful access to a wide swath of discovery for each criminal defendant, including evidence that would not be constitutionally or statutorily required.”
They claimed that Pope “desires to use discovery as a vehicle to share sensitive and highly sensitive information with individuals who are not a party to his criminal matter.”
Prosecutors have also said the footage aired by Carlson did not exonerate defendants.
The USCP previously told The Epoch Times that Carlson did not contact it before his first segment on the footage. It declined to report on a widely publicized memorandum that claimed Carlson “cherry-picked” clips “from the calmer moments of our 41,000 hours of video.”
Carlson said the footage “shows mostly peaceful chaos” and that most people in the crowd on Jan. 6 did not commit crimes. This prompted bipartisan criticism, with many Democrats urging Fox executives to block the release of additional video and some Republicans lamenting how the footage was presented.
Still, others said the videos undercut key narratives, such as the persistent claim that Sicknick was killed by rioters when an autopsy concluded he died the day after the breach from natural causes.
“Tucker has exposed the lies told about the events of Jan. 6,” Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said on Twitter. “We need more reporters who are willing to stand up for what’s right and tell the truth.”