House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has granted Fox News host Tucker Carlson access to all of the US Capitol security footage from January 6, multiple sources told CNN.
The highly unusual move – a House speaker handing over a massive trove of internal government materials to a friendly media outlet – comes after the California Republican faced significant pressure from his right flank to relitigate the work of the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
During his bid for the speakership, McCarthy vowed to hold hearings on the security failures that led to the Capitol getting overrun, and he told the select committee to preserve all of its records for potential future review by the newly empowered GOP majority.
Carlson has been one of the most prominent promoters of January 6 conspiracy theories. Most notably, he has devoted significant airtime to the false claim that liberal “deep state” partisans within the FBI orchestrated the insurrection as a way to undermine former President Donald Trump. He has conducted sympathetic interviews with some of the rioters who were subsequently charged by the Justice Department.
Several GOP lawmakers within McCarthy’s ranks had hoped to review the material themselves, likely to hunt for footage that supports their controversial claims about the January 6 insurrection. By giving the videos to Carlson, McCarthy is essentially outsourcing the task to right-wing media, at least for the moment.