More than two years after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Republicans still aren't on the same page when it comes to their insurrection-related conspiracy theories.
Specifically, they can't agree on whether to release the Jan. 6 surveillance footage from the Capitol.?For years, Republicans have pushed conspiracy theories claiming the deadly, pro-Donald Trump riot was simply a plot to instigate and arrest his supporters.
That group includes Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican who appeared on right-wing podcast "The Benny Show" on Thursday and demanded the release of the footage, which he said amounts to more than 60,000 hours of surveillance. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as you may remember, shared more than 40,000 hours of it earlier this year with then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
But McCarthy has refused to fork over the footage to other news outlets despite vowing to do so (perhaps because Carlson’s attempt at revisionism was widely seen as a dud and harmful to the GOP). Several outlets are suing to pry the footage loose from the federal government — and Higgins’ remarks on Thursday show he’s an unlikely ally on that front, albeit for self-serving reasons.?
“I’m one of the ones pushing for the release, by the way, of all the J6 video," Higgins said. "We got 60,000 hours of video from Jan. 4, 5 and 6 — I want it all released to the American people so that we can crowdsource that investigation."
In the interview, he makes the absurd claim that the Jan. 6 attack has "FBI fingerprints all over it," alleging, without evidence, that law enforcement "staged" the attack.
He went on to needle some of his colleagues: “I’m not falling for ... this story that I’m even hearing from some of my colleagues — that the release of all that video will somehow endanger the Capitol or members of Congress. That's crazy, man.”?
That appears to be a jab at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who in May offered her explanation for why the tapes shouldn’t be released to the public after calling for more "transparency" on the footage.?
“I would love for everyone to be able to see the J6 tapes except the funded Antifa internet trolls that can’t wait to comb through every ounce of video with facial recognition software in order to doxx every person that simply stood on the Capitol grounds that day,” she tweeted.?
She's not entirely wrong here. Internet sleuths have been key in helping the feds find and arrest Jan. 6 participants. She is wrong to suggest this is a bad thing, though. It's awesome.
Greene's tweet was met with groans from conservatives, who criticized her for backpedaling from her previous push to release the tapes. Multiple other GOP lawmakers — like South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul — have also called for the Jan. 6 surveillance footage to be released.
Republicans should have taken the "be careful what you ask for" phrase to heart. They've whipped the conservative movement into a conspiratorial frenzy as far as Jan. 6 tapes are concerned. Now, they're being pushed to uphold their promise, even if doing so seems likely to hurt their own party.