House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday the now-defunct House Jan. 6 select committee blew it on transparency, effectively forcing him to release Jan. 6 Capitol footage the committee refused to show.
"My whole role for Jan. 6 is to just bring transparency," McCarthy told Newsmax congressional correspondent Kilmeny Duchardt, dropping his head, closing his eyes briefly, and smirking or grimacing when the topic of the Jan. 6 tapes was the first question asked.
"People can make their own decisions with that. I just don't think the way the Jan. 6 committee handled it by not letting Republicans on, by picking and choosing what was shown — I let people make their own decisions."
McCarthy, who refused to take Duchardt's follow-up question, had said in one of his first press gaggles after becoming speaker that Lt. Michael Byrd "did his job" in shooting unarmed U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, 35, to death when she attempted to crawl through a broken Capitol building door window.
McCarthy was the Republican minority leader when former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused to seat his five GOP candidates for the committee. Pelosi allowed only Democrats and two Republicans, former Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both of whom were open in their disdain for former President Donald Trump.
All nine committee members voted to impeach Trump after he left office for incitement of insurrection.
"The one thing I want to make sure is this Capitol is protected and secured," McCarthy told Duchardt, who asked about news coverage of Capitol Police officers leading the horned-hat protester Jacob Chansley to the Senate chamber doors on Jan. 6, 2021. "I want to make sure the officers here have everything they need to provide that."
Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in prison for pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding.
Duchardt first asked McCarthy if he felt Chansley, the so-called "QAnon Shaman," had been overcharged and over-sentenced.
"I don't know," McCarthy said. "I wasn't in the court cases."
Neither was the footage, McCarthy's release has ultimately revealed.
Chansley's now-former lawyer Albert Watkins told Newsmax on Tuesday he was not provided the video evidence by federal prosecutors that McCarthy gave to Fox News' Tucker Carlson.
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