Rep. Bennie Thompson, who headed up the now-defunct (and discredited) January 6th committee, dropped a stunning and confusing claim on Wednesday evening.
According to him, members of the committee never had access to the footage that is now being released by Tucker Carlson. That footage, much of which has never been seen before, has caused mass consternation in the press and among Democrat politicians because it challenges some of the predominant narratives about January 6th.
Here’s what Thompson had to say, though ascertaining why he’s saying it is a bit harder to do.
Thompson said he doesn’t think any of the Jan. 6 members themselves ever had access to the footage — they let only staff view it. “I’m actually not aware of any member of the committee who had access. We had a team of employees who kind of went through the video.”
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) March 8, 2023
Think about the implications of that. Thompson, Liz Cheney, and the rest of the January 6th committee members presented themselves as absolute authorities on what happened at the Capitol Building that day. They claimed to have spent over a year personally investigating the matter, leaving no stone unturned. They then took that self-prescribed sense of authority and used it to spin a politically convenient narrative just before a major election that was immediately pronounced above reproach.
But now Thompson wants to claim he and his cohorts never even viewed the footage themselves?
There are two possible explanations here, in my view, and neither leads to a good conclusion about the committee’s behavior. One is that Thompson is telling the truth. Perhaps he and his committee members really were so lazy and confident they could dictate the “truth” that they didn’t even bother to view any of the footage themselves.
That wouldn’t shock me at all. As I’ve said before, the game was rigged from the get-go. The moment Nancy Pelosi commissioned the committee, it was a foregone conclusion that they’d do nothing but say Donald Trump is really bad over and over. There was never going to be a real investigation into the security failures that helped exacerbate the riot nor anything else that strayed from their tight, partisan game plan.
In stunning admission, the chairman of the J6 committee now confesses he never analyzed any footage before running the made-for-TV show trial with Liz Cheney. Absolutely insane. Even worse than we thought. https://t.co/55Cnfo7HMh
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 9, 2023
Of course, the other possibility is that Thompson is just lying, not wanting to admit he and his colleagues covered up materials that could have provided some further context to the situation. That doesn’t mean the riot didn’t happen, but the videos Carlson has released do show a level of confusion, spontaneity, and disorganization that counters the “planned coup” narrative the January 6th committee chose to push.
I tend to think the first option is the most likely. Does anyone really think Liz Cheney and Bennie Thompson spent hundreds of hours going over surveillance footage? No, they told their staff the story they wanted to tell and that staff then cherry-picked and edited clips to tell it. Mission accomplished, I suppose.
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