House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office said on Tuesday that lawyers for defendants facing charges in the January 6, 2021, insurrection will be granted access to US Capitol security footage as the top House Republican has faced scrutiny for allowing Fox News host Tucker Carlson to view the video before widely releasing it.
The House Administration’s subcommittee on oversight “is making accommodations to schedule time for any attorney representing a defendant,” McCarthy spokesman Mark Bednar told CNN.
Republicans defended the move as a way to ensure due process for the defendants.
“Everyone accused of a crime in this country deserves due process, which includes access to evidence which may be used to prove their guilt or innocence. It is our intention to make available any relevant videos and documents on a case-by-case basis as requested by attorney’s representing defendants,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk, the subcommittee chairman, said in a statement.
The access for defendants accused in the January 6 Capitol attack has already come up in court. Joseph McBride, an attorney for several Capitol riot defendants, told CNN Tuesday that McCarthy’s office granted him access to 41,000 hours of Capitol security footage from that day, and he has filed in court to seek a delay in one defendant’s trial.
“For the first time since the inception of this case, the full context of January 6th is receiving intensive public scrutiny as 41,000 hours of CCTV footage relevant to January 6th has been made available to the Defendant and members of the public,” McBride wrote in a recent filing asking to delay his client Ryan Nichols’ upcoming trial.
McBride’s disclosure comes amid a public debate over what footage from inside the US Capitol should be publicly released. Publicly releasing video was one of the many concessions McCarthy made in his bid to become House speaker earlier this year, and the California Republican gave Carlson exclusive access to all of the US Capitol security footage from January 6 last week. CNN also has requested access to the footage.
On Tuesday, McCarthy contended that January 6 defendants were able to acces