Between security cameras, body cams, news documentation, and the personal devices belonging to participants, there is a heap — over 40k hours — of footage from the January 6th attack, and Republicans have promised their fans it will all be released publicly.
Instead, it seems, they’re turning it over to one right-wing ideologue so extreme his televised politicking is often featured on Russian state propaganda television.
Is Tucker Carlson anyone’s first choice as a candidate to curate what the public sees out of those thousands of hours of riot footage?
It turns out the answer is yes — he’s been given access by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and his team is reportedly poring over the material, seeking out portions to feed to his audience.
A handful of conspiracy theorists have insisted that if all of the footage was released, it would somehow exculpate Donald Trump and his fans — or at least his media counterparts.
Carlson may be seeking out the moments on camera (such as protestors taking selfies with police officers, or a few individuals trying to redirect the mob) that could appeal to the MAGA crowd, but not all participants are happy about it.
Anthony Puma pled guilty to obstructing and impeding an official proceeding, in a plea agreement that included an arrangement to cooperate with investigators, and freed him from prosecution on other charges.
He has weighed in to let the court know he’s opposed to public release of footage, including the video obtained from his own GoPro device, which he turned over to the government. His filing argues:
“[T]he media should not have an unfettered right to obtain all videos and re-broadcast them at its pleasure simply because it is a January 6 case… The extent of material the public already has access to diminishes any “need” for access to a few exhibits in this matter. “
Below, you’ll see some of the footage from Puma’s GoPro that has already been released. (Content warning for strong language.)
The position of Puma, and perhaps some other defendants who may also worry about what the dissemination of video evidence may do to their future employment prospects and public image, doesn’t seem to deter Carlson or Speaker McCarthy.
Carlson intends to begin airing portions of the footage in the coming weeks, according to Axios, and has declared that there “was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret.”
He says he can’t understand why “any honest person” would have a problem with him releasing it publicly.
Newly released GoPro footage from Capitol rioter Anthony Puma. pic.twitter.com/01pJ074h4I
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) February 11, 2023