CNN political reporter Alayna Treene posted this revelation to Twitter by way of describing the process for lawmakers with the 118th Congress to view the material.
Treene said that Bennie Thompson "said lawmakers were never given that type of access to the footage last Congress. 'It’s strictly a new policy that the new speaker has put in place,' he told CNN."
"Thompson," Treene continued, "said he doesn’t think any of the Jan. 6 members themselves ever had access to the footage — they let only staff view it. 'I'm actually not aware of any member of the committee who had access. We had a team of employees who kind of went through the video.'"
The January 6 Committee was convened by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and their mission was to use the Capitol riot, in which Trump supporters protested outside of, and went into the Capitol Building, to prosecute Trump. After over a year of digging, testimony, and more 900 arrests, the committee determined, without actually proving it, what they had set out to: that it was all Trump's fault.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has made those tapes available to congressmen who wish to see it. "Any of us can go," Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene told CNN, "You just have to schedule time with the Speaker's office... I am scheduled to go and I can take my staff with me." Greene and staffers have been provided with instructions as to how to view the footage, given that there are 40,000 hours of it.
McCarthy has also made the tapes available to news media, with Tucker Carlson Tonight taking up the helm. Carlson broadcast segments of the footage on Monday night, which showed that many of those who were claimed by the Committee to be "violent insurrectionists" were often in reverence of the Capitol, and that the "weapons" they were carrying were simply flag poles.
McCarthy was asked if he regretted releasing the tapes, and he said he was not. "No," he said. "I said at the very beginning, transparency, and so what I want to produce for everybody is exactly what I said, that people could actually look at it and see what's gone on that day."
The White House also condemned McCarthy's release of the tapes, along with Carlson's coverage of that footage, saying that Carlson was "not credible." It is unclear if anyone at the White House has reviewed the footage themselves.
Trump suggested that all detainees should be released following the reveal of the surveillance footage.
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