According to video footage aired by Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Monday night, Jacob Chansley, also known as the "Q Shaman," was escorted by U.S. Capitol Police officers who acted as his "tour guides" during the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.
New Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) provided Tucker Carlson and his team with nearly 41,000 hours of footage from January 6, which had been previously withheld by Democrats. Carlson's producers were able to view the footage that Democrats had chosen not to release to the public.
According to Carlson, a significant portion of the footage was deemed irrelevant, including surveillance footage of unoccupied rooms that were distant from the events of January 6. However, the remaining footage contradicted the Democrats' allegation of an attempted "insurrection" to topple the government.
Carlson contended that the video footage "discredits the notion that January 6th was an insurrection, and actually refutes it." Although a portion of the footage portrayed instances of aggression and property destruction, a significant portion demonstrated individuals moving calmly through the Capitol, frequently accompanied by Capitol Police members, who did not resist them but rather facilitated their entry by unlocking doors for them.
Although the police may have been compelled to act as such, Carlson contended that it illustrated that numerous individuals within the Capitol did not intend to engage in criminal activities, especially considering that the then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had rejected petitions for National Guard support.
Regarding Chansley, who became a recognizable figure of the Capitol riot due to his buffalo-horned outfit, Carlson exhibited footage of Capitol Police officers leading him through corridors and even unlocking doors to the Senate chamber.
?BREAKING: Never before seen video of January 6 shows Jacob Chansley, the QAnon Shaman, being led through the Capitol by police the entire time that he was in the building. pic.twitter.com/rikoRMWezF
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 7, 2023
After his arrest, Chansley, a former member of the U.S. Navy, expressed remorse during a prison interview, stating that he was unaware that his actions were illegal and believed that the police officers' assistance indicated their approval of his behavior.
According to Carlson, Chansley and other defendants were not provided with the complete footage, which might have contained exculpatory evidence, as the Democrats had concealed it. Carlson made this argument while discussing Chansley's 41-month imprisonment sentence.
Online, there was some debate about this matter. Politico's legal affairs correspondent, Kyle Cheney, claimed on Twitter that he had received information from his sources within the Capitol Police, stating that Chansley and other defendants had been provided with access to the footage during their trials.
Capitol Police department sources tell me the footage Tucker Carlson aired tonight of Jacob Chansley (the Q Shaman) was virtually all available to Jan. 6 defendants via discovery — not part of some newly unearthed batch.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 7, 2023
Despite claims that Chansley and other defendants had access to the footage during their trials, the general public had not seen the footage, which was placed under a protective order. Consequently, the public's perception of Chansley's and other non-violent defendants' actions remained incomplete. Tucker Carlson argued that Capitol Police had thoroughly examined the footage that he presented on Monday and requested only minor modifications. However, according to CNN, some sources maintained that Carlson had only consulted with the Capitol Police on certain parts of the footage.
The limited public access to the complete footage, coupled with the discrepancies regarding the vetting process, has led to ongoing debates and questions regarding the events that took place on January 6, 2021, and the actions of those who were present at the Capitol.
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