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Under new policy, 12 media outlets, six J6 defendants allowed to view J6 security tapes of Congress

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), chairman of the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, has opened the Capitol security footage to "U.S. news outlets, qualifying non-profit organizations, as well as defendants charged with crimes related to January 6, 2021"

Published: September 5, 2023 11:00pm

A new transparency policy established in the House of Representatives has renewed interest among media outlets and those impacted by the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

The new policy opens the database of full 24/7 U.S. Capitol Police security video from Jan. 5th and 6th of 2021 and will allow media and individuals who fall under certain categories to review the footage. 

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) chairman of the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight said in a statement that "starting September 2023, representatives of U.S. news outlets, qualifying non-profit organizations, as well as defendants charged with crimes related to January 6, 2021 and their counsel, and individuals who were physically harmed on January 6, 2021 at the United States Capitol and their counsel are allowed access to the terminals."

So far, there have been 12 media outlets and six Jan. 6th defendants who have requested to view the raw U.S. Capitol security video from Jan. 5 to 6, 2021 after the footage was made accessible on a "first-come, first-served basis." 

Under the new policy, viewers granted access "will be asked to leave cell phones and cameras near the door and must agree not to record footage from terminals."

Loudermilk added that the decision to open up the raw footage follows through on the House Republican majority's focus on transparency after access to the footage was denied under the Democratic-led House of Representatives.  

“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," he said. "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."

A senior committee aide told Just the News that over 12 media outlets, ranging from small to large, have filed requests to view the footage under the new policy, along with 6 defendants charged with crimes related to Jan. 6, 2021. The first appointments are being assigned starting this week, Just the News has learned. 

"Access will be subject to time restrictions to enable CHA staff to administer this access," read the formal policy. 

A digital public reading room will be established for members of the public to review the video clips selected by media outlets and Jan. 6 defendants, according to the senior committee aide. 

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) had in February of this year exclusively released a trove of the surveillance tapes to Tucker Carlson, then a Fox News commentator. Although that release generated some controversy, McCarthy defended the release at the time, saying "I was asked in the press about these tapes, and I said they do belong to the American public. I think sunshine lets everybody make their own judgment.”

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