House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) on Sunday said he has “no indication” police have gone through the Jan. 6, 2021, footage that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shared with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.
McCarthy has defended his decision to hand Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of surveillance footage from the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, saying he has taken action to ensure lawmakers’ safety won’t be risked by the release of the material.
But Jeffries said there are no signs the video has been screened by authorities.
“It’s not clear to me yet that any material footage that any news personality at another network may have has been vetted, but it must be vetted before anything is released into the public domain,” Jeffries told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
McCarthy has said Carlson pledged to not show “any exits” used by lawmakers and staff at the Capitol, but didn’t specify anything he’s done to ensure the safety of lawmakers and staff won’t be jeopardized by the release of the material.
“There are serious security concerns with releasing footage into the public domain in an era where political violence is on the rise, and there are people, including the former president, who fan the flames of extremism,” the Democratic leader said.
Carlson, an ally of former President Donald Trump who has spread conspiracy theories about Jan. 6 and has condemned the work of the House committee tasked with investigating the insurrection, said he’ll begin airing the material this week.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) strongly condemned McCarthy’s action in a letter to Senate colleagues last month, saying it made Capitol police officers’ jobs harder.
“It also risks exposing the carefully laid out and highly guarded plans for the continuity of government, intended to preserve our democracy in the event of an attack,” Schumer wrote. “All things anyone who would want to harm our country would love to learn.”
Meanwhile, Fox News personalities’ private statements are being spotlighted in Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the conservative cable network.
A text by Carlson, released in a court filing, shows he thought Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell was lying about the election, but continued to push her false claims. In another text to colleagues Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, Carlson called for a Fox News reporter to be fired over a tweet fact-checking a post by Trump.
Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch testified in a lawsuit deposition that some hosts “endorsed” 2020 election lies and “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight.”