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Media outlets demand access to Jan. 6 footage sent to Tucker Carlson

A coalition of news outlets is demanding access to footage from the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shared exclusively with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.

Attorney Charles Tobin sent a letter to Congress on Friday requesting the footage on behalf of Advance Publications, ABC News, Axios, CNN, CBS News, The E.W. Scripps Company, Gannett, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, and ProPublica.

The letter was addressed to McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). 

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, Tobin wrote, "Without full public access to the complete historical record, there is concern that an ideologically-based narrative of an already polarizing event will take hold in the public consciousness." The letter added that this could cause "destabilizing risks to the legitimacy of Congress, the Capitol Police, and the various federal investigations and prosecutions of Jan. 6 crimes."

In addition, NBC News reported that another group of news outlets had also filed a separate request seeking the footage. This group included NBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, Telemundo, and others.  

"There is no basis for further delaying granting this access — to these News Organizations or any other media outlets that make similar requests," this request said, per NBC. 

The controversy stems from McCarthy's handing over of exclusive Jan. 6 footage to Carlson this past week. The Washington Post noted that Carlson "has repeatedly cast doubt on official accounts of what happened on Jan. 6 and has claimed it was a 'false flag' operation."

Many Democrats have raised concerns that Carlson could use the more than 41,000 hours of footage he obtained to twist the narrative of the attack.