Newly revealed surveillance footage from Jan. 6, 2021, shows two Capitol Police officers escorting Jacob Chansley, the behorned so-called “QAnon Shaman” who has come to symbolize the riot, through the halls of the Capitol and to the very door of the US Senate.
The footage aired on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Monday night shows the officers closely following Chansley as he wanders the corridors of the Capitol, bare-chested and wearing face paint and a luxuriant fur hat with Viking horns.
“Virtually every moment of his time inside the Capitol was caught on tape,” says Carlson, who was granted exclusive access by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to 40,000 hours of surveillance footage from that day inside and around the Capitol, which has never been seen before by the public.
“The tapes show the Capitol Police never stopped Jacob Chansley. They helped him. They acted as his tour guides.”
At one point, the officers are seen walking Chansley past seven other police officers milling around outside the Senate chamber, who barely give him a second look.
Then they escort him to various entrances of the chamber that appear to be locked. Eventually, they help him open a door, and he enters the chamber.
Chansley, a 33-year-old Navy veteran from Arizona, has been jailed for almost four years for “obstructing an official proceeding.”
In a jailhouse interview played by Carlson, he says: “The one very serious regret that I have [is] believing that when we were waved in by police officers, that it was acceptable.”
In a statement, the Capitol Police suggest that one of the officers with Chansley was trying to “de-escalate” the situation because he was outnumbered.
But that does not explain why Chansley, who was unarmed, was able to walk past seven more officers without being apprehended.
“Not one of them even tried to slow him down,” says Carlson.
He “understood that the Capitol Police were his allies. … If he was in the act of committing such a grave crime, why didn’t the officers standing right next to him place him under arrest?”
And yet in the narrative formed that day by Democrats and much of the media, “Jacob Chansley became the face of January 6, a dangerous conspiracy theorist dressed in an outlandish costume who led the violent insurrection to overthrow America’s democracy,” says Carlson.
McCarthy (R-Calif.) has been criticized for releasing the footage to Carlson, who plans to air five stories based on the footage over two nights that he says “demolishes” the Democratic narrative of January 6.
As well as Chansley’s story, Carlson will air footage that he says debunks the claim that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was murdered by rioters.
Other accusations against Republicans that were promoted by the heavily partisan January 6 committee are shown in a strikingly different light by footage to be aired by Carlson, including viral video of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) running away from rioters on the day that appears to have been taken out of context.
Claims that Rep. Brian Loudermilk (R-Ga.) guided “insurrectionists” around the Capitol to help them disrupt Senate proceedings contrast with footage of him showing constituents around the next-door Rayburn Building the previous evening.
“Taken as a whole, the video record does not support the claim that January 6 was an insurrection,” says Carlson.
“In fact, it demolishes that claim, and that’s exactly why the Democratic Party and its allies in the media stopped you from seeing it.”
“By controlling the images you were allowed to view from January 6, they controlled how the public understood that day. They could lie about what happened and you would never know the difference. Those lies had a purpose. They created a pretext for a federal crackdown on opponents of the uni-party in Washington.”
Democratic lawmakers such as Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland have warned that Carlson poses a “serious security risk” and have accused the Fox News host of being a “pro-Putin, pro-Orban, pro-autocrat propagandist.”
“There’s thousands of hours of footage that are out there already,” Raskin told MSNBC. “But the reason all of it wasn’t released is precisely because it lays out floor design, it lays out evacuation routes, it lays out where the vice president went, it lays out where the senior members of Congress were evacuated, and so on.”
Carlson’s team says their footage has been vetted by congressional authorities to ensure it does not pose a security risk.
They further point out that the January 6 committee aired footage of the evacuation routes of VP Mike Pence and Hawley.
Having failed to stop the release of the footage last week, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized Carlson in a tweet as “a weak, weak man.”
By Miranda Devine
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