House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters Thursday that he intends to release all the security footage from the January 6 Capitol riots.
“I want to be very thoughtful about it, but yes, I’m engaged to do that,” McCarthy told reporters when asked whether he would release footage from that day.
I think the public should see what happened on that day. I watched what Nancy Pelosi did, where she politicized it. Where for the first time in the history as a Speaker, not allowing the minority to appoint to a committee. We watched the politicization of this. I think the American public should actually see what happened instead of a report that’s written on a political basis.
Speaker McCarthy promises to release all of the security footage from January 6 pic.twitter.com/WgBYhSYRxZ
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) January 12, 2023
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who led the charge against McCarthy during the numerous speakership votes, claimed that McCarthy promised to release the January 6 Capitol footage as one of his concessions to the anti-McCarthy holdouts. Gaetz told Charlie Kirk on Tuesday:
Kevin McCarthy told us he‘s going to get the evidence out in front of the American people, and that means releasing the 14,000 hours of tapes that have been hidden. That I think would give more full context to that day, rather than the cherry-picked moments that the January 6 committee tried to use to inflame and further divide our country.
Gaetz also thanked McCarthy on Twitter after a video of McCarthy’s comments about releasing the footage surfaced online.
“Thank you to the 20 patriots who helped EARN this commitment from the Speaker,” Gaetz tweeted. “Thank you @SpeakerMcCarthy for affirming this commitment you made. Keeping promises is how trust is built. I’m growing more optimistic by the day!”
Thank you to the 20 patriots who helped EARN this commitment from the Speaker.
Thank you @SpeakerMcCarthy for affirming this commitment you made.
Keeping promises is how trust is built.
I’m growing more optimistic by the day! https://t.co/uYAaT5sG0f
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 12, 2023
House Republicans have long demanded the release of the security footage from January 6. A group of 23 Republican lawmakers, led by former Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), wrote a letter to Capitol Police Board Chairman William J. Walker in August that argued the release of the footage is “absolutely essential to proper governance and truth.”
However, a spokesperson for the U.S. Capitol Police claimed that releasing the footage “would ultimately be up to the Capitol Police Board,” in a statement to the Washington Times.
“The video has been designated security information and is therefore protected from public disclosure. Releasing it would ultimately be up to the Capitol Police Board and not the Department,” the U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson said.