Media

News organizations sue to retrieve Jan. 6 footage released to Tucker Carlson

A coalition of news organizations filed a lawsuit on Wednesday demanding access to surveillance footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack released exclusively to Fox News.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier this year provided about 44,000 hours of the surveillance footage to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who aired portions of it on his show as he questioned the significance of the attack and described the attack as “mostly peaceful chaos.”

The media organizations attempted to also receive the footage from McCarthy, and they further demanded the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys’ administrative office produce the footage through expedited Freedom of Information Act requests.

“Plaintiffs have continued to press the Speaker’s Office for access to the videos as quickly as possible and on equal terms with other media requestors, only to be told that the Speaker’s Office will not even provide a timeline for when such access might begin,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit claims the federal agencies have not produced the requested footage, asking a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to compel them to comply with the request, which spans all closed-circuit surveillance camera footage at the Capitol from Jan. 6.

“That denial of access is a stark change of pace for these Plaintiffs, as over the past two years they have diligently, cooperatively, and successfully pursued and obtained access to thousands of videos of the Capitol riot that have been used as evidence or otherwise become judicial records in more than a hundred cases in this District against those charged with organizing or participating in the riot,” the lawsuit states.

McCarthy’s decision to release the footage to Fox led to outrage from Democrats, who raised security concerns. U.S. Capitol Police said they reviewed just one clip that Carlson aired on his March 6 show.

“No,” McCarthy told reporters last month when asked if he regretted granting Carlson access. “I said at the very beginning, transparency. And so what I wanted to produce for everybody is exactly what I said. The people could actually look at it and see what’s gone on that day.”

The outlets included in the coalition are Advance Publications, The Associated Press, CNN, CBS, The E.W. Scripps Company, Gannett, The New York Times, Politico and ProPublica.

Tags Jan. 6 Capitol riot Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Tucker Carlson Tucker Carlson

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