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Gaetz, Boebert Say McCarthy Has Agreed to Release All Jan. 6 Footage

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has agreed to release all security footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building after it has been hidden from the public for more than two years. That’s according to a couple of GOP lawmakers — Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

Gaetz suggested that the new speaker agreed to do so as part of a deal to win his and Boebert’s support, two Republicans in a group of about 20 that held back their support for days, denying him the speaker’s gavel.

“The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened on January 6th. We have demanded to see all the footage. Transparency is coming,” Gaetz said. “Every time from the JFK files, to 9/11, to now January 6th. It’s our own government, our own Department of Justice that seems to stand in the way of transparency.”

He also doubled down on his call to bring in more CSPAN cameras to the House floor.

“If we had cameras on the floor, my suspicion is we would have far better attendance during debates that impact the lives of our fellow Americans,” he said.

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Boebert added on Twitter: “Speaker McCarthy says he’ll be releasing ALL the footage from January 6th. Considering all the public has seen are edited clips from a bunch of Democrats with an axe to grind, it sure will be nice to get some unbiased footage.”

McCarthy finally managed to become Speaker for the newly elected Republican House majority following some late-night drama last week involving Gaetz after the GOP lawmaker from Florida voted “present,” initially denying McCarthy’s victory by a single vote during a late Friday evening session.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy has delivered on a previous pledge to bar two members of California’s Democratic congressional delegation from serving on the Select Committee on Intelligence.

The California Republican has blocked Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the panel, fulfilling a promise he made before the midterm elections to remove them should the GOP win back the House majority and make him speaker.

“House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) had written to McCarthy on Saturday asking that both Schiff and Swalwell be seated on the Intel panel, where membership assignments come solely at the discretion of the Speaker,” The Hill reported.

However, McCarthy countered that previous actions by both lawmakers have made them unqualified to serve on such a sensitive committee.

“In order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee’s responsibilities, I am hereby rejecting the appointments of Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell to serve on the Intelligence Committee,” McCarthy responded to Jeffries on Tuesday.

The Hill added:

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Republicans have been up in arms over the issue since 2021, when Democrats staged votes to remove GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) from their committees following revelations that they had promoted violence against some of their Democratic colleagues. The eviction votes came after McCarthy declined to punish either lawmaker internally within the GOP conference, which is typically where such disciplinary actions are meted out.

Still, McCarthy on Tuesday denied that his decision regarding Schiff and Swalwell was retribution for Greene and Gosar.

“This is not anything political. This is not similar to what the Democrats did,” McCarthy told reporters late Tuesday afternoon outside his Capitol Hill office.

Schiff, who led several Democratic investigations into Donald Trump, repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that the former president colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. Republicans have also accused him of leaking sensitive and oftentimes false information to the media several times during Trump’s term.

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Swalwell, meanwhile, had a relationship with a suspected Chinese spy who helped him raise money for his 2014 campaign, though none of that was known until 2020. McCarthy says that a confidential briefing given to him by the FBI on the matter left him convinced that Swalwell is compromised and a risk to national security.

“When Eric Swalwell would be in the private sector and can’t get the security clearance there, we are not gonna provide him with the secrets to America,” McCarthy told reporters.

In addition, the Speaker has vowed to bar Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee over several anti-Semitic statements she has made regarding Israel. But while House members serve on the Intelligence Committee at the pleasure of the Speaker, Republicans would have to vote to remove Omar from her assignment, and with a thin majority, that is not assured.

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In fact, McCarthy already has one defector and possibly more: “Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) announced Tuesday that she will not support keeping Omar off the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) has expressed a coolness to the idea,” The Hill noted.

It’s also not clear when a vote to remove Omar will occur.

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