On Friday, the House Administration Committee announced a new policy granting more access to footage of the riot at the U.S. Capitol Building that took place on January 6th, 2021.
Roll Call reported that news outlets and defendants involved in the incident will be among those permitted to view this footage from terminals managed by the committee.
These terminals were established when Congress began their 118th session pursuant to Republican House rules; they house all materials related to the events of January 6th.
Roll Call adds:
Starting this month, members of the media, personnel from select nonprofit organizations, those charged with crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and people injured on that day will be able to request access. Recording of materials will be prohibited and access will be subject to time restrictions, according to a statement from Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga, whose Oversight Subcommittee is spearheading the effort.
“House Republicans are continuing to deliver on our promise to bring transparency and accountability to the People’s House by increasing access to security footage of the U.S. Capitol from January 5th and 6th, 2021,” Loudermilk said in a statement, per Roll Call. “This announcement stands in stark contrast to the previous Democrat leadership, who blocked access to the footage and only showed carefully edited clips to the public.”’
Earlier this year, a collective of news organizations requested access to the security footage from January 6th after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) furnished then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson with roughly tens of thousands of hours of footage from that day.
This move was met with criticism by both House Democrats and the leadership of the U.S. Capitol Police, as segments of the provided footage were used by Carlson to downplay the severity of the riot.
“I think the American public should actually see all what happened, instead of a report that’s written for a political basis,” McCarthy said at the time, lobbing some criticism of a Democrat-led House select committee investigation of the incident that was authorized by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
In May, Republicans who control the Administration Committee sought to reexamine the materials gathered by the Jan. 6 Committee as well as the incident itself. Representative Barry Loudermilk was investigated by the former committee after Democrats accused him of leading a “reconnaissance tour” on the day prior to the riot; however, he released a batch of data in March that exonerated him of any wrongdoing. Consequently, two House Republicans issued a request for Speaker Pelosi to testify concerning security deficiencies that occurred at the Capitol before the incident transpired.
“The reason there wasn’t a proper security presence on that day goes right to the speaker’s staff and the speaker’s office. As you go back and look at the communications, there’s this pattern that develops where the Sergeant of Arms is meeting with Pelosi’s staff,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said.
“Many of those meetings, Republican staff wasn’t allowed to be there, but they had this pattern where everything had to run through her office, her staff before the Sergeant of Arms could make a decision,” he added.
Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls issued a similar response: “And Nancy Pelosi. You do have questions you need to answer.”
At a House Committee hearing over the summer, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified that three days prior to the Capitol riot, then-U.S. House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving had declined Sund’s request to deploy hundreds of National Guard soldiers because he said then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would “never go for it,” as reported by The Epoch Times.
During his 90-minute appearance before the House Oversight Committee, this was Sund’s first testimony before a House panel since he resigned two days after the riot. Notably, he was not called to testify before Pelosi’s Jan. 6 Committee.
“I was floored by him saying that,” Sund testified.